ETHEKWINI Municipality is a responsive, caring government that listens to the concerns of its residents. This is evident through the tabling of revised tariff increases during a special Full Council meeting held on 31 May. An extensive eight week 2023/24 draft budget and Integrated Development Plan public consultation roadshow was held with relevant stakeholders.
The roadshows saw Municipal officials traverse the City, taking the budget to all regions. Concerns were raised by stakeholders about the proposed tariff increases. And, as a caring government, we listened to these concerns. I am pleased to inform you that we tabled revised tariff increases during the Council meeting. The Municipality initially had a porposed 21.91% electricity tariff increase, which effectively translated to a 3% increase by the Municipality following National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) granting an increase of 18.65% to Eskom.
However, noting the complaints of residents regarding tariff increases during budget consultations we tabled a revised figure of 18.49%. This is aligned to the NERSA increase. With regards to water, the key drivers of the tariff are more challenging and the proposed 14.9% increase for residential customers and 15.9% for business remains unchanged. Some of the key drivers of the water tariff increase include a 5.5% increase imposed by Umgeni Water, a 3% increase related to the construction of the essential Upper Umkhomazi Dam while repairs and maintenance contributes around a 4.3% and security around 1%.
We also tabled the following revised proposed tariff increases which we hope will offer some cushioning to customers:
The property rates tariff increase is reduced from 8.9% to 7.9%.
The Sanitation tariff increase is reduced from 11.9% to 10.9% for domestic and from 12.9% to 11.9% for business.
The refuse tariff increase is reduced from 8% to 6.9%.
Council also dealt with another matter, the issue of Councillor Mzimuni Ngiba. In line with the Code of Conduct for Councillors contained in the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act 117 of 1998, eThekwini Speaker Councillor Thabani Nyawose tabled a recommendation for the MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to remove Councillor Ngiba of ward 101 from office. This follows a finding that Councillor Ngiba is in breach of the Councillor’s Code by being absent from three or more consecutive meetings of the Municipal Council and committees that he was required to attend.