Capetonians will feel the full impact of the City Council’s rates and tariff increases this month, but the City has also experienced unprecedented resistance and anger from its customers.
For the first time there were tens of thousands of objections to the increases and the City was forced to back down in a number of areas. Instead of a rates increase of 7.2% the council approved a lower 6.5% increase.
There were significant decreases in the proposed tariffs for water and sanitation with a reduction from a proposed 26,9% to 19.9%, with even greater relief in some categories.
What we still don’t understand is why the City does not have reserve funds to deal with exceptional problems like the drought crisis. The logic of making people pay more for using less water still escapes us.
The City have also backed down on its plan to give its executive directors a 17% salary increase and have limited these increases to 7%, but that is still above the inflation rate.
What has happened is that the City, probably for the first time, experienced people power and that is a good thing.
I hope they understand that the days of regular above inflation increases in rates and tariffs must come to an end because the public will no longer accept them. They will just have to trim the fat out of their budgets.
President of the Cape Chamber