Msunduzi Electricity tariffs

Below is a copy of the speech given by Msunduzi councillor Mergan Chetty to the media yesterday following a late afternoon full council sitting:

At today’s Special Full Council meeting called to specifically deal with the Council having to make a final determination on electricity tariffs escalation for the 2013/ 2014 Budget, the ANC in Msunduzi once again displayed their arrogance in view of the majority that they have in council. An issue as sensitive and which has financial repercussions to the city’s resident was decided by a show of hands as opposed to serious consideration to the plight of the poor and destitute.

At debate was NERSA’s rejection of Msunduzi’s application for a 10% electricity tariff increase to the approved 7% agreed to by NERSA. In having to adjust the figures, the ANC Mayor proposed approx 54 % tariff increase on Domestic High  (80 A) from R 17.50 to R 27.00 whilst the DA’s Cllr. Mergan Chetty proposed a 7% increase to R 18.72. Also the ANC Mayor proposed approx 26 % tariff increase on Domestic High (100 A) from R 29.16 to R 37.00 whilst the DA’s Cllr. Mergan Chetty proposed a 7% increase to R 31.20.

This adjustment has a negative bearing and the Councils  Officials have been very creative in ensuring that the irregular 3% charged to consumers for the past three months, will now not have a negative effect on  the city’s budget, as this increased proposed by the ANC will assist to offset the difference in the refunded amount due to residents. This is indeed a rip off to the residents of the city. The Council did not inform the public and stakeholders of this increase that the ANC has passed.

NERSA had indicated in correspondence to the Council that the Municipality had increased its projected revenue for the 2013/14 into an average of 16% and not 10%.

Rightfully, the Council should have reduced all its electricity tariffs and charges that have been increased by 10% in the 2013/14 Budget to 7%, inclusive of both MCB and Basic charges, which is within the parameters set by NERSA.  The proposed tariffs and charges set by NERSA is the upper limits guide that Council cannot increase beyond without application from NERSA.

The ANC led  Msunduzi Municipality punished the business sector for having complained to NERSA with regards to its 10% Electricity tariff increase. The Mayor proposed approx 1200% tariff increase on Commercial  (80 A) basic charge from R 49.22 to R 661.35 and approx 900% tariff increase on Commercial 3 Phase basic charge from R86.14 to R 861.80 whilst the DA’s Cllr. Mergan Chetty proposed a 7% increase for both these tariffs.

All opposition Parties united against the ANC and voted in support of Cllr. Chetty’s counter proposal. This was indeed a VOTE in support of the plight of the people who have elected us to best represent their interest. The ANC lost a golden opportunity to express good faith in placing the interest of both the people and business, before its own.

Mergan Chetty

DA Budget Spokesperson

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