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Joburg residents facing tariff hikes after city approves budget

Property rates tariffs will be increased by 4%, while water tariffs will increase by 6.6% and electricity tariffs will go up by 6.23%.

FILE: The Johannesburg Council. Picture: Clement Manyathela/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – Johannesburg residents have to brace themselves for increased costs of services following the passing of the city’s budget.

Despite several political parties protesting the hikes in light of the economic impact of COVID-19, the budget was approved on Thursday by the majority of councillors in the house.

Property rates tariffs will be increased by 4%, while water tariffs will increase by 6.6% and electricity tariffs will go up by 6.23%.

The hung Joburg municipality that is governed by the African National Congress (ANC) through a coalition said that the increases that included electricity, water and property rates tariffs had to be implemented to avoid an economic crisis.

Joburg Finance MMC Jolidee Matongo said: “A tariffs setting process presented to the public participation process has also considered the likely impact of the proposed increases on the local economy, our business customers and the residence. In demonstrating our commitment to inclusivity and accountability, the voices of the residents have been heard.”

The city council had to rush against time to pass the budget on Thursday following an ultimatum by the provincial government that set a deadline for its approval for Friday.

Meanwhile, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) voted against the budget, saying that it was not in the best interest of the city’s residents.

The city has also announced that R1.2 billion from its R68.1 billion budget will be directed at formalising informal settlements.

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