Cape Town residents should brace for increases in the cost of both water and lights from July.
The city’s executive major Dan Plato confirmed the increases in his budget speech on Wednesday (26 May), and said that the city has tried to keep hikes to a minimum through extensive expenditure cuts.
“As the impacts of the global Covid-19 pandemic continue to be felt by all, we have taken measures to provide relief to struggling residents.
“As of 30 April 2021, we have written off outstanding debts of residents to the value of R295 million, with a proposal on tomorrow’s council agenda to write off a further R4 billion in outstanding debt from residents from previous years.
Plato said the city is also allocating R3,35 billion for rates relief for the 2021/22 financial year.
“This consists of R1,99 billion for indigent relief and R1,35 billion in rates rebates. This is in addition to the dedicated Covid-19 relief budget, primarily of R313 million on the Operating Budget.”
Plato said that the following increases are set to take effect for the 2021/2022 financial year:
- The electricity tariff will be increased by 13.48%;
- The water and sanitation tariffs will increase by 5%;
- The refuse removal tariff will increase by 3.5%;
- The average increase for rates is 4.5%.
Plato further called on the national government to move faster regarding IPP legislation as we are currently having to allocate 23% of our total annual budget towards bulk electricity purchases from Eskom.
“I am sure that with clean and reliable energy provided by a host of independent power producers, we can reduce the amount we spend on electricity, and redirect those funds towards more services for our residents,” he said.
“In light of the pressure on the National Budget, the tapering-off of transfers to local governments means that we will have less available from that source to fund our activities, and this should further incentivise national government to provide urgent clarity on IPPs.”