Outa opposes CoJ’s attempt to add fixed monthly charge to prepaid electricity

The civil society group said the metro’s draft budget for 2021/22 proposed adding a fixed monthly service charge of R230 to domestic and R460 to business prepaid bills.

FILE: The organisation said this was the third year that the metro tried to add a monthly charge for prepaid electricity users, but the previous attempts failed. Picture: 123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has on Monday opposed an attempt by the City of Joburg to add a fixed monthly charge to prepaid electricity bills.

The civil society group said the metro’s draft budget for 2021/22 proposed adding a fixed monthly service charge of R230 to domestic and R460 to business prepaid bills.

Outa said the economic situation facing residents was extremely difficult due to the lockdowns brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organisation said this was the third year that the metro tried to add a monthly charge for prepaid electricity users, but the previous attempts failed.

Outa’s Brendan Slade said the proposed costs were unreasonable: “Outa believe this is irrational; not only is the CoJ’s documents incoherent, but the levy will have a significant impact on prepaid customers. According to the city, the levy is to ensure that the prepaid customers contribute to the City Power distribution network. There is no way for the public to determine these costs, making the levy unjustified.”

Slade said the city should produce a cost-of-supply study to motivate the need for such a charge.

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