Tarrif hikes are absurd

2018-05-15 06:01

The recent proposed municipal tariff increases are not warranted. The unembellished truth is that Capetonians are being ripped off.

This is worse than the Great Train Robbery of 1964 in England. All the increases are above inflation which averages out to about 4%. The average wage increase for 2018 is about 3%. Where is the balance?

Residents have invested thousands in water-saving technologies and now they are being punished. To add insult to injury, the preposterous water tariff increase from R4/kF to R26/kF is aggravated by a proposed fixed basic water charge of R56 per month, in addition to R150 per month for properties valued at more than R1m. The Institute of Security Studies has revealed that 60% of domestic water is used by the affluent. Wealthy residents can absorb the extra financial burden. Despite the fact that South Africa is the most unequal society in the world according to the GINI coefficient, the municipality has the audacity to sanction astronomical tariff increases beyond the reach of most working people. These increases could lead to dire consequences.

The City should become innovative and revisit its accounting strategies in order to balance its books. The 39% underspend in capital projects in 2017/2018 budget year could be used to fund the water income shortfall according to Patricia de Lille. This is a practical way of cancelling the shortfall. It boggles the mind why simple, honest accounting cannot be applied.

Our civic organisation, Garlandale Rondebosch-East Residents’ Association rejects the 2018/2019 draft budget in its current form because we believe there is a flaw in the municipality’s accounting process. To be fair, we further believe that they have the necessary expertise and resolve to correct this consumer-unfriendly budget.

Ivor R. van der Ross Chairman, GRERA

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