Residents to be hit hard by increase in tariffs

Electricity, water, rates costs all hiked

The new City of Johannesburg tariff increases, starting on July 1.
The new City of Johannesburg tariff increases, starting on July 1.
Image: Supplied

Residents in Johannesburg and Tshwane should expect to pay more for their property rates as the new tariff increases kick in next month.

The City of Johannesburg announced yesterday that as of July 1, electricity tariffs will go up by 12.7%, refuse by 5.9%, water and sanitation will increase by 7.7% and property rates by 3.8%.

This comes days after the City of Tshwane announced during a budget speech last week that its water and sanitation tariff will go up by 5.9%, refuse removal by 5.9% and property rates by 5%. Electricity will go up by 12%.

Meanwhile, the residents of Ekurhuleni are also in for hikes for the upcoming financial year which could potentially see an increase of between 11% and 12.74% for electricity. 

While the City of Johannesburg claims to have the lowest property rates tariff increases for 2024/2025, John Wilkinson from the Kensington ratepayers association said there is little value for money in the services offered.

“The tariff structures are inflationary, in my opinion, primarily to feed the 25% of budget salary bill. There is very little value for money from City of Joburg — which might well be the reason citizens feel no compunction to pay for inconsistent and over-priced and poor service erratically delivered,” said Wilkinson. 

He said the best and most consistent service was offered by Pikitup and Joburg Water's sewers division and customer services fault reporting portal. 

“All other so-called 'services' — across the board — can be improved upon, starting with Crum [citizens relationship and urban management],” he said.

The proposed hikes in Ekurhuleni are contained in the city’s draft budget speech in which it is also proposed that property rates increase by 4.9%, sanitation by 7%, refuse removal by 6% and water by 9%.

Ekurhuleni spokesperson Zweli Dlamini confirmed the budget is yet to be passed.

In a statement on Tuesday, LamDel Residents Association of Germiston in Ekurhuleni said it was deeply concerned about the proposed changes.  

According to the association, these proposed increases exceed the medium-term revenue and expenditure framework and inflation rates for certain services, including sanitation, refuse removal, water and energy.

It said that the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) has also evaluated the proposed budget and confirmed these concerns. 

“Given the slow economic growth and persistently high unemployment rate in SA, residents in Ekurhuleni and in our Germiston suburbs are already burdened by rising costs, including food, petrol, and yearly municipal tariffs. Increasing tariffs further exacerbates the financial strain on residents and businesses, especially when coupled with deteriorating service delivery and water and energy supply,” said Jakkie Janse van Vuuren from LamDel. 

She said the association does not perceive value for money in the services provided by the city which grapples with problems such as the ageing and failing infrastructure, ongoing and extended power outages, water leaks, poor refuse collection and unkept parks.

“We hope that the CoE will address these concerns and prioritise the budget to ensure that effective service delivery will take place for the benefit of all residents and businesses,” Van Vuuren said.   

Civic organisation Lasca [Lotus Gardens, Atteridgeville, Saulsville Civic Association] has described the hikes as unrealistic and unaffordable. “We do not see any value for money because there are no services in townships. The only service they deliver in our areas [townships] are final letters of demand for imposed erroneous arrear bills.

“They are consistent in rendering that service. We only see the city during their notorious Tshwane Ya Tima campaign, disconnecting residents of their basic services,” said Lasca president Tshepo Mahlangu.

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