(Editor: These rates and services increases must be seen against a background of a national inflation rate of 5.9% and, personally, I say that these increases represent profit taking and are a sad indictment of an inefficient institution. If you think I am right or wrong then let me know in the comments or submit a letter.)
The Council of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality today approved its 2013/14 Integrated Development Plan (IDP) (12th Edition) and 2013/14 – 2015/16 Budget. The total Budget of the Municipality amounted to R8,6 billion, comprising a Capital Budget of R1,1 billion and an Operating Budget of R7,5 billion.
All political parties represented in Council supported the adoption of the IDP and Budget.
The Budget reflects the following tariff increases, effective as from 1 July 2013:
- Property rates: 9.14%
- Water: 13%
- Sanitation: 13%
- Refuse: 13%
- Electricity: 7%
The Acting Executive Director of the Budget and Treasury Directorate, Mr Selwyn Thys, confirmed that these tariff increases compare favourably with the tariff increases adopted in other metro municipalities. The average monthly account of a large household in Nelson Mandela Bay will be R184,12 more from 1 July 2013, compared to the R229.43 more to be paid by large households in the Ekurhuleni Metro, the R269.62 more to be paid in the City of Tshwane, the R223.35 more to be paid in eThekwini, and the R304.27 more to be paid in the City of Cape Town.
Smaller households of Nelson Mandela Bay also fare well in comparison, paying on average R114,44 more, compared to the average monthly account increases of R157,13 in the City of Tshwane and R133,61 in the City of Cape Town. (Editor: I think the NMBMM needs to check their calculators here – see below for the increases in Cape Town and Tshwane to see how I draw this conclusion).
In his Budget Speech, the Chairperson of the Budget and Treasury Portfolio, Cllr Balu Naran, stated that the “austere and prudent” Budget is “unashamedly and unapologetically pro-poor, as we pursue our mandate of redressing the imbalances and injustices of the past suffered by the broad majority of our people. It was clear to the leadership that this budget must be allocated to further transform the face of Nelson Mandela Bay, improve service delivery to our residents, enhance the quality of their lives, and restore their dignity.
“The budget is presented in challenging times, but against the backdrop of the assumption to power of a leadership that have the ability, the will and the wisdom to take the reconstruction and development of Nelson Mandela Bay to a new level.
“Looking at our budget, it is clear that the focus is on human settlements, water services, electricity and energy, and sanitation. The hated bucket system is still with us, and is currently still in use by approximately 31 000 households in informal city areas. A large portion of our budget has consequently been allocated to build toilets and replace sewerage systems.”
Cape Town Increases:
- Property rates: 6.1%
- Water: 9.53%
- Sanitation: 6.32%
- Refuse: 7.06%
- Electricity: 7.86%
- Property rates: 10%
- Water: 10%
- Sanitation: 10%
- Solid Waste (Refuse): 25%
- Electricity: 13%
Have I missed the point with regards to property rates? Are we not ‘double taxing’ by having the municipality value our properties in order to charge a market related value on rates? Surely if an interim increase is applied in the years that there is NO valuation then an adjustment – and no increase – needs to be made in the year there IS a valuation?
One more interesting point – South Africa’s record low inflation rate of 0.20 Percent in January of 2004 coincided with a high in house prices.