ROB ROSE: Now for municipalities to cut rates
Huge bills from local authorities, who’re more often than not incompetent and unaccountable monopolies, are choking South Africans, who’re already under the cosh from a brittle economy
If there’s a message dripping in poor taste, it’s the exorbitant bills sent to South Africans – including thousands of newly unemployed and those on reduced salaries – or rates and utilities, accompanied by threats to cut off power and water.
It was already a major drain having to pony up for municipalities’ ingenuously crafted ways of extracting cash from residents: what indeed is a “demand management levy” or a “network charge” (up, incidentally, 13.25% in a year)? In Joburg we’ve also seen a 13% rise in tariffs levied by City Power, a 10% hike in water costs and sewer charges, and soaring property values arrived at by some world-class thumb sucking. (Arguably it’s the only world-class thing the City of Joburg now does.)..