Municipalities in South Africa, including major towns such as Johannesburg, ethekwini and the City of Cape Town will have to dig deeper into their pockets to pay municipal tariffs as a result of recent tariff hikes.
The new municipal tariffs for the City of Johannesburg for the 2016/2017 financial year has been set in motion.
With effect from today, electricity will cost 6.9 percent more and other services such as water, refuse collection and property rates will also experience tariff hikes.
Residents in South Africa’s economic hub of Johannesburg will wake up today to see that their property rates have increased by almost 6%. Electricity will increase by 6.9%; water and sewerage by 13.2%. For waste removal services tariffs, there will be an increase by 6% and 7.25% for businesses.
The increase in municipal rates and taxes to hit Johannesburg residents will sum up to more than 13 percent. Though electricity goes up by 6.9 percent, it is still lower than the recommendations from National Energy Regulator of South Africa.
However, there is a tiny light at the end of the tunnel as there will be refunds for different categories of properties. There will be 100% rebate for pensioner owners whose gross monthly income is higher than R8 200 and child headed households with a property value not exceeding R2 million.
Apart from Johannesburg, municipal tariffs are also expected to increase in other towns and cities.
The tariff hike comes at a time when the country is battling with severe economic constraints, while trying to balance out with its debt obligations.
The pressure on household disposable income is bound to increase with the burden of increasing interest rates and food prices placed on consumers.
Meanwhile, the population of South Africa has increased by over 3 million people with Gauteng as the province with the highest number of people at 13.4 million.