STEEP tariffs are on the cards for households that use more than 350kW of electricity monthly, if the Nelson Mandela Bay council votes in the draft 2012/13 budget before the end of June.
Council yesterday noted the draft 2012/13 budget and integrated development plan (IDP) and will meet weekly from next week until problematic areas in the budget are ironed out.
The budget for the next financial year must be adopted before the end of June, but National Treasury officials on Monday told a joint mayoral and budget and treasury committee that as it stood, the 2012/13 budget was not sustainable.
As it stands, Bay ratepayers are set for a 13% property and services rates increase, with an 11% hike in electricity for households using up to 350kW monthly. One unit, or 1kW, currently costs 91c and will cost households using up to 350kW 98c from July 1. Households using between 350kW and 600kW will pay R1.09/unit, or a 19% increase, while using 600kW or more a month will cost 42% more for those units, or R1.29/unit.
Last year ratepaying households were charged 22% more for electricity irrespective of usage.
Businesses will be charged an average of 11% more for electricity.
The draft budget originally had a shortfall of R196-million, which acting chief financial officer Selwyn Thuys and his team had to rectify. This was done by postponing the R46-million construction of a scientific laboratory at the Lillian Diedericks Building, as well as instituting austerity measures for all municipal departments, he said.
Treasury officials told councillors more needed to be done to increase revenue, including making the traffic and licensing department more productive. They also needed to rectify the shortfall between the metro’s electricity consumption and purchase rate which is currently losing the municipality about R8-million monthly.