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Electricity Tariff relief for EThekwini Residents

The eThekwini Municipalities Executive Committee (EXCO) has agreed to

cut its electricity tariffs by 3%, following public hearings on the

budget and a review of expenditure requirements. The Municipality had

initially proposed a 28% electricity hike in the 2010/2011 budget, but

later announced that it intended increasing electricity tariffs by

just 25%.

In a presentation to EXCO, Deputy City Manager in the Treasury

Cluster, Krish Kumar said the decision to decrease the price of

electricity had been accepted by the National Energy Regulator of

South Africa.

Executive Committee member Nomvuzo Shabalala welcomed the move saying

the high electricity tariff was one of the major concerns raised

during recent public consultations. She described the 3% cut in the

price of electricity as good news to the public.

The decrease from 28% is indeed a positive response to cries from

members of the public about the high price of electricity, she said.

In addition the Council is exploring the possibility of rolling out

solar heating on a mass basis which would ultimately save residential

consumers as much as 30% on their electricity bills.

Kumar said the Municipality would be making renewed calls to Province

for housing subsidies. He said although the Municipality had intended

scaling down from 16 000 to 13 000 the number of units it built per

year, this would be taken up with Province and the target accordingly

reviewed.

The reduction of our annual targets to 13 000 was another area of

concern during the (budget) hearings, high level negotiations are

therefore continuing with Province with the view to negotiating

increased subsidies and accelerating the housing delivery programme.

Kumar said outstanding hostel debt was another cause for concern. Our

Housing and Hostels working group are reviewing debt collection

procedures and are finalising plans to improve collection rates,

decrease water and electricity consumption, remove illegal residents

and improve access control he said.

EXCO agreed to make representation to Provincial and National

Government regarding unfunded mandates presently undertaken by the

Municipality with a view to securing funding for these services.

The eThekwini Municipality currently provides additional services such

as libraries, primary health services, museums and housing.

Deputy Mayor Logie Naidoo said whilst the Municipality had a choice of

discontinuing the provision of these services, there were

implications. If you look at libraries, health care or even housing,

you realise that these are all very important services which need to

be delivered, Naidoo said.

Issued by eThekwini Municipality, Communications Unit. For more

information, please call Mandla Nsele on 031 311 2279 or 083 3082639

or e-mail nselem@durban.gov.za

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