City of Johannesburg suspended an approved fixed surcharge due to further engagement with relevant stakeholders.
Department of Finance MMC Funzela Ngobeni said the surcharge was aimed to better align pre-paid tariffs to conventional tariffs and was to be implemented on 1 July 2019. Ngobeni said in August, City will hold educational roadshow and it will be citywide. He added that debt rehabilitation application process would start in September.
“Currently customers are burdened by increasing electricity rates. The surcharge is R200 per month for prepaid residential and council approved R402 per month for business-prepaid customers as part of the annual tariff increases. There is pressure on household disposable income and the sluggish economy”, he said.
Ngobeni said they heard the voices of customers through submissions made during public meetings.
“When considering tariffs to be cost-effective, we cannot ignore the calls for relief by residents. After consultation, we have addressed the issues through increased internal efficiencies and customers. Tariff increases are on the inflation target or below what NERSA. Eskom and Rand Water had proposed. The official increased tariff for City of Johannesburg are as follows: 5.5% for property rates, 13.7% for electricity, 7% for refuse removal and 9.9% for water”, said Ngobeni.
Ngobeni said City remains cognisant of the tough economic times and is aware that many residents have struggled to keep up with their municipal rates and services accounts. He added that in effort to provide relief to the most disadvantaged of residents, the City offers a basket of rebates for rates and services, under its Expanded Social Package Programme.
“City will instead implement debt rehabilitation programme. The concept of programme hinges on an application process that will allow for strained household owners. They will apply for municipal debt rehabilitation. Customers who qualify will receive immediate relief through 50% off debt to write off. Customers complying with all requirements of the programme, including keeping their current accounts up to date and allowance for regular inspection of metered services.
The remaining outstanding debt will be written off over three-year period