The civil rights organisation AfriForum is worried that municipalities that owe Eskom money will have consumers coughing up to pay off these debts.
AfriForum will therefore introduce a project today in 102 AfriForum branches country wide to empower communities to provide input regarding the drafting of municipalities’ integrated development plans (IDPs) and concept budgets. This will determine which tariffs municipalities may charge for services and property tax, as well as which services will be rendered in the area.
Municipalities are in the process of drafting their IDPs and concept budgets. Budgets will include the settlement of Eskom debts and repayment agreements. Municipalities will most probable raise their service tariffs in an effort to pay back millions of rands of debt to Eskom.
“It would be unfair and unlawful to force paying consumers to pay for the same service twice. Communities should take heed and raise objection with the correct forums if this happens,” says Marcus Pawson, AfriForum Head of Local Government.
According to Pawson, National Treasury has limited municipalities to a 6% increase in tariff increases, while prescribing that the budget should allocate 8% to maintenance of infrastructure.
Communities who want to give input regarding this year’s tariffs and services can join their local AfriForum branch. Participation will ensure that the budget will be spent only on matters addressed in the IDPs.
You can also become involved in the project on branch level by sending an SMS with your town’s name to 45344 (R1 per SMS).