City to rethink funding model

Graeme Hill, Constantia Hills

The proposed increases in the various tariffs proposed in the latest City of Cape Town budget are, for the most part, completely unacceptable (“City’s budget burden”, Bulletin April 12).

Do the City’s financial managers think that there is a bottomless pit of money to be milked from residents? Given all the other increases in costs through national taxation, inflation etc an increasing number of people, especially pensioners, cannot afford to keep on paying increasing rates, taxes and the like imposed by the City.

What is this crazy new idea of taxing water meters? We pay for the water flowing through our meters – there is no need to tax the meters.Water costs have already risen by 656% for the low consumption users – a further 26.96% will push the cost increase up to 832.85% since February. This is just plainly ridiculous. How on earth can this be justified?

Why has there been insufficient pressure on national government to do its legal duties. Take them to court if necessary.

There is no justification for a further increase in sanitation costs. Bear in mind that these charges are loaded onto water that has already been paid for. Electricity costs up by 8.14%. Given the bloated Eskom staff costs, corruption, unjustified increases in the project costs for the generating plants etc. the pressure should
be on Eskom not the users.

Electricity costs should be coming down not going up. Since 2007 electricity costs have gone up by some 600% taking it to nearly 700% a year later. Come on.

And what is this crazy R150 monthly levy you want to introduce? How on earth is this justified? On my bill for example this represents at least a further 10% increase in monthly electricity costs! Thus taking the increase in electricity costs to over 18% not the 8.14% glibly
stated.

The City needs to rethink its funding model and be more open and transparent to its citizens. Hiding project costs etc by just increasing the service charges or introducing these crazy levies (another word for taxes) is, in my opinion, dishonest.

I understand that the City needs to build and develop and has new projects to be funded. But charge for each of these separately as surcharges (which could be a percentage of the monthly account).

Then we can see where our money is going and hold you accountable for costs and project management just like any normal business.

When the project is completed and capex spent, the surcharge falls away and we do not end up paying ad infinitum.

The City’s communications badly need an overhaul. The City may think that all these increases are justified (if at all) but there has been no real communication to citizens to explain and to have people understand why such cost increases are planned.

Putting long complicated adverts
in the newspapers (which many no longer read) is no real communication. There is no explanation, for example, for how these increases will provide future financial stability and hence lower future costs.