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PACSA argues for a total restructuring of the Msunduzi municipal tariff framework

It has now become common for the Msunduzi municipality to invite our comments and inputs into their annual municipal tariff policy that sets the cost structure of services such as electricity, water and sanitation. Last year we argued that setting costs makes no sense without first conducting an affordability study to ascertain whether costs are affordable. Msunduzi agreed with our proposal but this year’s tariff policy again was set without taking affordability into regard.

For this reason our submission on the 2015/2016 argued for a total restructuring of the tariff policy frameworkto reflect the severe economic pressures faced by the majority of citizens and which has deepened the affordability crisis. In line with this restructuring we called for:

  • The removal of basic and fixed charges off the bills of struggling citizens
  • Collapsing amperage charges into per kWh charges to allow households who are able to reduce consumption to absorb economic pressure
  • For households who are unable to reduce consumption because they are already using as little as possible: to use the Equitable Share to increase the volumes of free basic services and increasing the numbers of households able to access these services by providing universal access
  • Immediately provide free basic electricity to households on prepaid meters instead of continuing to contravene national policy
  • Limiting or eliminating annual increases from low volumes and stepping these up on higher volumes and off different types of users
  • Implementing stepped tariffs for electricity and more stepped tariffs at appropriate volumes for water to ensure that struggling citizens are still able to access sufficient services at affordable prices

Read the full submission here