ANC eThekwini Durban Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda speaking at the KZN Economic Council Summit

Photograph: KZN Premiers Office

Electricity Price Hikes: Now Durban’s turn for higher tariffs

eThekwini Municipality is implemented a double digit electricity price hike but will still provide assistance to the poor.

ANC eThekwini Durban Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda speaking at the KZN Economic Council Summit

Photograph: KZN Premiers Office

eThekwini residents will be hit with double digit electricity price increases in the 20202/21 financial year.

eThekwini Municipal Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda announced the electricty, water and property rate increases during his budget speech delivered at the International Convention Centre in Durban on Thursday.

“The rest of the country has been impacted by tariff increases and our municipality has not been spared,” Kaunda said.

“However, we have managed to cap our tariff increases at the lowest we have ever seen in the last five years.  This is over and above the Eskom bulk electricity increase and the Umgeni Water Board bulk water increase which are out of the control of the Municipality.,” he said.

“Despite all the challenges, we have tried to keep the increases to affordable levels considering the tough economic climate facing our residents.”

He said property rates and refuse tariff increases had been kept to “a historical low” of 4.9%. The Water & Sanitation tariff increase is 8.5% due to the Umgeni Water Board increase of 7%, he said. 

“The Eskom bulk tariff increase for electricity is 17.8% which has resulted in an increase of 14.59% for electricity by the City.  This is the recommended increase for municipalities by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA),” Kaunda said.

“While we have seen an increase in tariffs by our water and electricity utilities, as a caring city, we have managed to strike a serious balancing act to ensure that our increases remain affordable, considering the tough economic climate confronting us.”

However, he said the city would continue to implement its progressive indigent policy which provides a safety net for poor households.  The qualifying criteria, among others, is that the residential property must be valued below R230 001 to R500 000 with a total household income of R3 760. 

The indigent support consists of the following:

  • 100% rates exemption
  • Total debt write-off
  • Free 6kl of water
  • Free sewer disposal
  • Free refuse removal
  • Free prepaid meter installation
  • Free 150 kWh electricity supply 

“It is important to indicate that for households to be considered for this benefit, they must apply to the municipality in line with the Indigent Policy which was adopted by the Council for the first time in the 2020/2021 financial year,” he said.