JOHANNESBURG – Despite feeling the economic pinch, Johannesburg residents have paid their bills on time and this has resulted in an unexpected increase in revenue collection.
MMC for Finance Julie Suddaby made the statement while delivering her maiden budget speech on Wednesday.
She detailed that revenue collection increased steadily from R3.6 billion in January to R4.1 billion in February and R4.2 billion collected in March.
This surpassed their initial target of R4 billion.
Suddaby said R11.9 billion collected between January and March this year was an increase of R1.6 billion over the same period in the previous financial year.
Officials in the City of Johannesburg have thanked residents for settling their bills on time.
Suddaby also announced several rates’ increases, including a 4.85% hike in property rates.
“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.”
Rates payments for water and sanitation were expected to increase by 9.75% each while refuse collection rate would see a 5% hike.
NEARLY 30% OF BUDGET GOES TO CITY POWER
It was revealed earlier that City Power would get the biggest chunk of Johannesburg’s R70 billion budget for the 2022/2023 financial year.
The city’s entity for energy distribution has been allocated an operational budget of R20.5 billion and an additional R1.2 billion for capital expenditure on infrastructure upgrades.
Mayor Mpho Phalatse lauded the budget.
Johannesburg is the country’s main economic hub and makes up 15% of South Africa’s GDP.
And so power outages and load shedding are among the greatest inconveniences affecting the city’s over six million residents and the economy.
Suddaby said the city’s budget demonstrates its seriousness in dealing with these issues.
She said R1.6 billion of City Power’s R20.5 billion operational budget would be used for the reduction of power outages.
“This allocation is justified given historically low expenditure on City Power that has led to a breakdown in the city’s power network.”
Johannesburg Water received the second highest budget allocation of R13.9 billion and an additional R930 million for capital expenditure.