Pietermaritzburg needs to be a bustling hub of business activity if our city is to attract jobs.
This year, Msunduzi has implemented massive leaps in municipal tariffs, some of which will only hinder economic activity here for both the rich and the poor.
For example, the increase of up to 235% in trading licences for informal traders is prohibitive for many in the informal economy.
When you earn a little, that’s a lot.
ALSO READ | Pietermaritzburg airport tariff hike slammed
Yesterday we wrote of an increase that will affect the wealthier population of both Pietermaritzburg and the Midlands.
The increase in the tariffs for Pietermaritzburg Airport will drive potential passengers down the N3 onto the N2 northbound and eventually into the gates of King Shaka airport.
This as passenger levies at Pietermaritzburg Airport on a return flight have increased from R270,70 per person to R905,72.
A quick look at flights from King Shaka Airport to Johannesburg reveals that a return ticket can cost just over R900 from there.
The savings are obvious and ample.
While the costs associated with the convenience of flying from Pietermaritzburg may be acceptable to some, most won’t be able to afford them.
As we saw yesterday, the N3 was a virtual no-go zone because of crashes that blocked the highway in both directions.
Massive traffic congestion occurred. Local people may well have missed their flights if they were driving to King Shaka.
It is deplorable for the City to impose such massive tariff hikes, which will prevent residents from planning business or leisure trips with the convenience of a local flight.
It is a slap in the face to business people who support the City through rates and service payments, and a kick in the teeth to those of us who just want to enjoy the amenities we have here without having to travel for over an hour on a dangerous road to an airport where costs are not prohibitive.