Removal of prepaid charge from Joburg budget a good start but not enough

No to tariff and rates increases, and no to pay increases for councillors and management

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29/06/2020 11:24:13

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Removal of prepaid charge from Joburg budget a good start but not enough    

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) welcomes reports that the City of Johannesburg has decided to drop plans for a new monthly charge on prepaid electricity.  However, we would like to see official confirmation that the charge has been abandoned for both domestic and business prepaid customers. The City had planned to charge domestic users R230 (incl VAT) a month and businesses R460 (incl VAT).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        This follows after thousands of public submissions by OUTA supporters to the City on the metro's 2020/21 draft budget overwhelmingly opposed any tariff and property rates hikes, or increases in salaries for municipal staff and city councillors. These supporters copied OUTA on their submissions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        OUTA made our own submission to the City last week and facilitated a public participation process to enable more residents to provide input on the City’s draft budget.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        “The general sentiment by Joburg residents is that there should be no new prepaid electricity fixed charges for either business or domestic users, no increases in rates, no increases in any tariffs and no increases in remuneration for councillors or municipal management,” says Tim Tyrrell, Project Manager at OUTA. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The draft budget shows that the City plans to vote for a 6.4% pay increase for its councillors and 5.4% for municipal employees. OUTA argued that the City is not in a financial position to provide any increases. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                        “We now encourage residents to ask their councillors if they have voted or are going to vote for or against the increases in the budget. We call on the 270 councillors in the City of Johannesburg to decline these increases as a show of solidarity with the constituencies they serve in this trying time. The City must put its people first. Unnecessary costs in the City must be cut to make up for shortfalls,” says Tyrrell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        More information on OUTA’s objections to the City’s draft budget is here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Picture: OUTA

                                                                                                                                                                                                        OUTA is a proudly South African civil action organisation, that is purely crowd funded. Our work is supported by ordinary citizens who are passionate about holding government accountable and ensuring our taxes are used to the benefit of all South Africans.