The Office of the Mayor has indicated that it had no other choice but to increase the electricity tariffs, as Sol Plaatje municipality is “cash-strapped and facing serious cash flow challenges”
THE OFFICE of the Mayor has indicated that it had no other choice but to increase the electricity tariffs, as Sol Plaatje municipality is “cash strapped and facing serious cash flow challenges”.
Spokesperson for the mayor’s office Persome Oliphant pointed out that the electricity prices were regulated and subjected to the tariff increase guidelines of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).
“The municipality operates in a tough environment, influenced both by subjective and objective factors which make a zero tariff not possible. Simply put, Sol Plaatje is cash-strapped and cash flow remains a serious cause for concern.”
She indicated that the executive mayor, members of the mayoral committee, acting municipal manager, acting chief financial officer and other senior managers held a virtual meeting with the local business sector and community representatives on Wednesday.
“Stakeholders raised their concerns around unemployment and the unaffordability of electricity for both business and residents. The municipality assured the stakeholders that they had a full grasp and appreciation of the current socio-economic conditions that the city residents find themselves in.”
Oliphant stated that the municipality was looking at alternative energy sources such as solar power.
“Economic investment such as the Kimberley Rehabilitation and Development is changing the face of the city. We remain committed to improving the conditions of our people.
“We continue to encourage stakeholders that we must work together to find solutions jointly to address socio-economic challenges.”
She said the draft budget with the revised electricity tariffs was tabled by the executive mayor on March 30.
“This was followed by an informal council meeting to debate the budget before conducting virtual meetings with various stakeholders and radio interviews in May as part of publication consultations.”
She stated that the executive mayor had considered all inputs from community, stakeholders and businesses before tabling the budget on May 31 for council approval.
“All service delivery challenges raised during public participation platforms were noted, from the state of road infrastructure, water and sewerage spillage in various areas in the city, levels of unemployment, impact of Covid-19 on the economy, development within the city, etc.”
Oliphant added that key considerations were made to increase the threshold of indigent qualification criteria from R3,750 to R4,500 income per household.
“Partnerships have been forged with provincial government to enhance efforts towards cleaning the city, road infrastructure refurbishment and patching of potholes.”