Joburg says proposed R200 levy for prepaid electricity users was an error after residents complain
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Johannesburg - Following a huge outcry over a proposed R200 levy per month for all prepaid electricity users, which was posted on the website for comment, (Metrowatch April 1), the City of Joburg has now posted an adjusted version which does not include the levies.
The city said the levy had been “erroneously” included.
The member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for finance, Jolidee Matongo, said the city’s revised draft rates policy was now available for additional public comments after being adjusted to incorporate input received on the document in virtual public meetings held last month.
The revised policy is currently available on the city’s website for public comment alongside the draft 2021/22 mid-term budget and the integrated development plans (IDPs). The draft documents are also being presented for input in ongoing virtual and physical public meetings.
The rates policy, which is reviewed annually, defines and categorises all properties within the borders of Joburg. It also allows the city to generate rates revenue by assigning a tariff to the property values obtained in the general valuation roll.
The newly-proposed rates tariff increases in the 2021/22 budget have reduced the property rate from 4% last year to 2% across all categories of properties. Matongo said the proposed significant drop in the property rate was to ease the negative economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on both property owners and the city while ensuring sustainable service delivery.
“It is important that the city, within its confines, finds a balance between its financial sustainability to enable service delivery continuation and the affordability of residents amidst the Covid-19 pandemic’s economic impact on all of us, hence residents’ comments on the draft rates policy, budget and the IDP are important,” Matongo said.
Other proposed increases include 6.8% for water, 6.8% for sewerage, 9% to 18% for electricity (depending on usage) and 4.3% for refuse collection. All of these amounts exclude VAT. Pensioners aged 60 and above, with a property valued at R2.5 million or below, and a gross monthly income that is below or equal to R10 545 – up from R10 338 last year – qualify for a 100% rebate.
In addition, pensioners who earn above R10 546, and not more than R18 073 – up from a maximum of R17 719 last year, qualify for a 50% rebate.
The draft rates policy is available on the city’s website (www.joburg.org. za). Public comments may be made in writing and submitted before May 8 or by email to [email protected] The new rates policy is expected to come into effect on July 1.