Faizel Patel
Senior Digital Journalist
3 minute read
25 May 2022
4:01 pm

City of Joburg tables R77 billion budget – hefty tariff increases for residents

Faizel Patel

MMC for Finance Julie Suddaby said the city wants to achieve a 90% collection rate in the coming financial year.

MMC for Finance Julie Suddaby Photo: City of Johannesburg

MMC for Finance Julie Suddaby has tabled a R77.1 billion budget for the City of Johannesburg, with some painful tariff increases for residents.

Suddaby delivered the city’s budget speech for the 2022/2023 financial year at a special sitting of the municipal council on Wednesday.

Suddaby said the budget aims to take what is broken and repair it.

“What is broken will be redeemed as we work together, our communities and the City, to heal the cracks that are a part of our story. In the end, our city will be even more vibrant due to this Golden Repair.”

Suddaby said revenue collection had increased steadily over the past three months to R11.9 billion, which is an increase of R1.6 billion over the same period in the previous financial year.

While Suddaby thanked the residents of Johannesburg for paying their accounts on time, she said it is well known that customers owe Johannesburg a lot of money in unpaid rates, taxes and services.

“Revenue owed to this City is no longer counted in millions, sadly it is now counted in billions of Rands. This Government is not unsympathetic to our residents’ financial situation, on the contrary, we have put a comprehensive debt rehabilitation programme and rebate structure in place to aid those who are struggling to make ends meet.”

Suddaby said the city wants to achieve a 90% collection rate in the coming financial year and has tabled some hefty tariff increases for residents.

“Property rates will increase by 4.85%; electricity will increase by 7.47%, which is a significant reduction of the increase in the previous financial year of 14.59%. This increase is determined by Nersa and we currently have no option but to pass it through to our customers.”

“Water will increase by 9.75%. This increase is also a pass through cost from Rand Water. Sanitation will increase by 9.75%; and refuse increases by 5%,” Suddaby said.

ALSO READ: Eskom not concerned about City of Joburg getting electricity from IPPs

“Electricity infrastructure has received the largest chunk of the Johannesburg’s capital spend for the 2022/23 financial year with R1.2 billion followed by roads at R918 million, water R795 million, sanitation R600 million, sports and recreation R172 million and community facilities R79 million.”

Suddaby said to assist residents, the city has adjusted the rebate structure for pensioners.

“Income levels for pensioners will be increased from the lower amount of R10,783 to R11,305 and the higher amount from R18,481 to R19,377. This amounts to an average increase of 4.85%.”

Public safety has received 6.1 billion, the fourth largest budget allocation.

“Johannesburg is rated among the most violent cities in the world. Areas like Diepsloot, Kya Sands, Midrand, Lanseria, Fourways and Dainfern have become targets of crime. Streets like Kelvin Street, Pretoria Road, Witkoppen, and 1st Avenue in Alex are infamous for hijackings.

“Our main priority is the safety of our residents, but we should also heed the negative effect crime has on business and investor appetite. We have allocated R6.1bn in operational budget towards public safety making it the fourth largest allocation in this year’s budget, clearly showing that we take crime prevention seriously and that we are fiercely dedicated to having criminals brought to book,” Suddaby said.

Suddaby said the City of Johannesburg is also set to receive new fire engines and equipment by June next year, at a cost of R200 million.

The MMC has also budgeted R1.7 billion to upgrade informal settlements, adding that an anti-land invasion unit will also be established.

“In the coming fiscal year, we will provide 2,252 houses in informal settlements, with basic sanitation services. We have also budgeted R600 million capital expenditure for the electrification of various informal settlements across the City over the medium term.”

“We will build 2,500 low rent and rent-to-buy units in mixed-income developments and 895 social housing units,” Suddaby said.

Suddaby said the city will also be launching 500 Wi-Fi hotspots in the coming financial year.

ALSO READ: ANC in Johannesburg postpones regional conference once again