Soweto residents are pushing for the introduction of a R200 monthly flat rate for electricity, as they cannot afford current electricity prices.
Speaking to eNCA, community leader Michael Mosiuoa said many Soweto residents are pensioners who cannot afford prices currently calculated by the city and Eskom.
“We are proposing a flat rate of R200 per month. The people of Soweto are prepared to pay. They have never made the mistake of not paying,” he said.
The latest call for a flat rate for electricity in Soweto comes after president Cyril Ramaphosa promised residents their electricity issues would soon be resolved.
Ramaphosa faced protests during an ANC campaign in Soweto over the weekend, where people complained about regular electricity outages.
The City of Johannesburg and other major metropoles introduced above-inflation increases for basic services in July, including electricity.
The increases for the 2021/2022 financial year were as follows:
- The electricity tariff will increase by 14.59%;
- The water tariff will increase by 6.8%;
- The sanitation tariff will increase by 6.8%
- The refuse tariff will increase by 4.3%.
In response to the increases, the Johannesburg Property Owners & Managers Association (JPOMA) said that the tariff increases highlight a complete and utter disregard of the harsh reality faced by inner-city and greater Johannesburg residents during one of the gravest economic downturns in recent memory.
From 2008 to 2021, water charges have increased by 288%, sewer charges by 267% and electricity charges by 394%. This means that total council charges over 13 years have increased by a whopping 329%, while the average household income has only increased by 119% in that period, the association said.
While the tariffs have drastically increased, service delivery and basic maintenance have deteriorated across the city, due to inadequacies, inefficient processes and mismanagement of funds accrued by the municipality, the association said.
The tariff increases compounded with the already fragile economic state of the country adds insult to injury to those already struggling within their means, it said.