Increase in municipal rates from July 1

The Town of Ekurhuleni has announced that there will be no increase in assessment rates for all property categories in the upcoming financial year (2022/23).

The city explained that this is to protect ratepayers from the increases associated with the new assessment roll which came into effect on July 1, 2021.

Miscellaneous rate increases effective July 1 are capped at 4.8% in accordance with the Consumer Price Index rate. This figure is slightly lower than the likely increases in consumer price inflation for the next 12 to 24 months.

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The garbage collection tariff will increase by 7%, the main cost driver being waste management services, with the exception of landfills, which are in essence transport and labor operations and are therefore sensitive to substantial and continuing increases in the price of oils and lubricants, fuels, fleet repairs and maintenance, and labor costs.

Although this service is under the control of the city, there are input costs beyond its control.

The city also has limited power to control increases in services such as water, sewerage and electricity that rely on bulk supply of services from external utilities, in this case Rand Water and Eskom .

In this regard, the following increases will come into effect for water and electricity:
• Electricity tariff increase 9.61%
• Increase in water and sanitation tariffs by 11%

Despite difficult economic times and tight finances, the city will continue to provide free basic services to support the poor in accordance with the National Municipal Policy Framework for the Indigent.

This relief will go to registered and deemed destitute households in the amount of R4.5 billion. The social package for aid to the indigent includes:
• 100% discount on assessment rates
• Free garbage removal
• 50 kWh of free electricity per month
• 6 kl of water and sewer per month
• Free indigent burial for registered and deemed indigents
• Special rates on emergency services such as ambulance and firefighting.

Additional support for cash-strapped taxpayers will be provided in the form of debt repayment incentives.

This will include a 50% cancellation of debt beyond one year from the date the application is approved – including tariffs, service charges, interest and other costs.

The balance of the account at the date the application is approved, excluding the current account and after the 50% write-off, will be placed in a consolidated arrangement account to be written off gradually over a period of three years.

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However, this will be on the condition that all the provisions of the scheme are complied with during this period. The program will be available to eligible applicants from July 1 to March 31, 2023.

By understanding the plight of family members of deceased taxpayers when it comes to making payment arrangements on accounts related to deceased estates, the city has enabled citizens of Ekurhuleni who find themselves in this situation to take the necessary arrangements.

This will require a copy of the deceased’s death certificate and an accompanying affidavit.

Loyal paying customers who keep their accounts current for six months will receive a 2% cash back credit on their accounts in the seventh month.

Melissa C. Keyes