Nelson Mandela Bay Metro says tariff hike concessions to cushion residents

Nelson Mandela Bay Metro says tariff hike concessions to cushion residents

15 Jun 2021 15:06

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality on Tuesday announced a decision to approve electricity tariff increases more than three percentage points below that approved by the National Energy Regulator (Nersa). This is in addition to single-digit increases for other services.

According to the Metro, this was necessitated by the crippling economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the drought.

Electricity increased by 14,59%, lower than the 17,8% cost increase to the Metro by Nersa.

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Member of the Mayoral Committee for Budget and Treasury, Dr. Malcolm Figg said he and his team were mindful of the current drought-induced punitive water tariffs and the economic hardship, caused by the coronavirus pandemic, when tariff increases were calculated.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s R14.9 billion 2021/2022 operating and capital budgets were approved on Monday.

“This has been the most challenging budget as the average revenue collection rate dropped below 85% and the unemployment rate increased across the country due to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic amongst others.

“In addition, we had to bolster our water augmentation efforts by increasing funding for the KwaNobuhle pump station from R28 million to R45 million and made an additional R159 million available for the drilling of boreholes.

“We are already experiencing the debilitating impact of the prevailing drought and must ensure that work continue to lessen the impact on our residents and industry,” Dr Figg said.

Other increases are water (6%), sanitation (6%), refuse (6%) and property rates (5%).

Deliberations with National Treasury will continue for the rollover of R183 million (Drought Relief Grant) that was unspent during the 2019/20 financial year.

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