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Joburg budget: How to keep your tariffs low

 

The City of Johannesburg wants to work with customers on the most effective ways to manage their consumption of water and electricity, reduce household costs and mitigate the impact of tariff increases.
Delivering the City's 2015/16 Budget, the Member of the Mayoral Committee for Finance, Councillor Geoffrey Makhubo, said that consumers can take practical steps within their own households to reduce their monthly bills.

Water and electricity tariffs are largely 'pass-through costs' that are outside of the control of the City as they are determined by external agencies.

MMC Makhubo said the City is aware of concerns among residents about the tariffs for water and electricity. "Let me assure you that we empathise with your situation and we share your concerns," he said.

The City will continue to provide information and advice to consumers on practical steps they can take to lower consumption and reduce their monthly bills.

MMC Makhubo announced that property rates in the City will increase by 6% -- which is within the South African Reserve Bank inflation target range.

The proposed average tariff increase for electricity is 12.19% in line with the NERSA  & ESKOM increase.

The City applies a stepped tariff structure for electricity services.

"The message we want to convey to our residents is: the less electricity consumers use, the less they pay," he said.

Water and sewerage tariffs will increase by 14% in the coming year, which also largely reflects a 'pass through cost."

The setting of the water tariff is also determined by the need to conserve a scarce natural resource and the costs associated with the maintenance and renewal of purification plants, water networks and the expansion of the reticulation system.

Refuse removal services will be increased by 8% for domestic, business and commercial customers. The proposed tariffs are cost-reflective and will ensure adequate funding of Pikitup's operations.

MMC Makhubo said there are a number of special tariffs and rebates in place that are designed to provide relief to residents of the City. Among these are:

• All households in Johannesburg receive 6 kilolitres of free water every month;

• A subsidised water tariff structure is in place for consumers on prepaid meters

• Residential properties valued at less than R200 000 receive free refuse removal services;

• The City's Extended Social Package assists poverty stricken and vulnerable households and individuals. There are currently 124 477 residents who are registered for this package and receive the benefits