Indigents cushioned from metro tariff increase

Clr Doctor Xhakaza delivered the 2018/2019 budget speech on May 24.

The annual municipal tariff increases took effect from July 1.

In order to cushion the indigents residents from these increases, the city has revised its policy on provision of free six kilolitres (kl) of water to all residents so that more indigents can be accommodated.

This was announced by the Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Finance and Economic Development Clr Doctor Xhakaza during the budget speech on May 24.

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Therefore, residents who are not registered indigents and whose property value exceed R750 000 would notice from their monthly statements that they would be charged for all consumed water and sanitation.

To accommodate more of destitute members of society, the municipality has adopted the revised indigent support policy, which has resulted in an increased minimum income threshold from R3 200 to R5 090.

While delivering his budget speech on May 24, Xhakaza said although the metro has provided all of its ratepayers with free basic water over the past decade, the practice was in contrast with national policy.

“The national allocation to municipalities excludes non-indigent households,” said Xhakaza, as he explained why Ekurhuleni had to reconsider its policy.

Water tariff has also increased by 12.96 per cent from 1 July, which is the same increase pronounced by Rand Water, the municipality’s bulk water supplier.

Sanitation tariffs increased by 9 per cent, which is informed by the cost of sewer purification processes undertaken by ERWAT.

Properties which use water for household purposes, including old age homes and hostels, are charged, on a sliding scale, R10.21 per kilolitre for 0 to 6kl per month consumption to a maximum of R31.60 for 46kl or more kilolitre consumption per month.

Another important point to note is that property owners are liable for the cost of relocation of a meter if the meter becomes inaccessible due to the installation of a fence or wall (as per the council approved tariffs).

The same applies for the replacement of a water meter where a water connection exists as well as testing of a water meter for accuracy.

For more details on the tariffs, water supply services and incidental charges are applicable from July 1 to June 30, 2019, visit www.ekuhruleni.gov.za.

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  AUTHOR
Khutso Maphatsoe
Journalist

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