- Storage tanks for water will be provided to all informal settlements and these will be replenished by water tankers.
- Sanitizers and soap will be available in all informal settlement ablution blocks, as well as public facilities.
- There will be strict enforcement of the lockdown and all essential, health and emergency services staff will be working.
- No water disconnections will be undertaken during the period of the lockdown.
- No electricity disconnections will be undertaken during the period of the lockdown.
- No interest will be charged on arrears incurred during the period of the lockdown.
- The deadline for the submission of rates rebate applications will be extended to 31 May 2020.
- Business and corporates are encouraged to make cash donations to a trust fund, established in terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act to help vulnerable groups, including businesses, to survive the economic impact of the lockdown.
In compiling the draft budget, the City had to adopt several interventions to cushion the most vulnerable citizens whilst still trying to balance fiscal discipline.
Considering the current challenges, the drafting of the budget was severely restricted. Tariff increases have been substantially decreased from the MTREF projections. Major efforts have been put in place to ensure realistic and affordable tariff increases.
The electricity tariff increase is proposed at 6.9% which is a 50% reduction from the anticipated increase in the MTREF.
An increase of 23% was initially forecast to balance the municipal budget. However, following the review by the Budget Prioritisation Committee, negotiations with Umgeni Water Board to reduce their tariff increase to 6.9%, a tariff increase of 9.9% is being proposed. Compared to last five years’ increases of 15%, this is a welcome relief to consumers. The City has made every effort to keep eThekwini’s sales tariff to a minimum. The rollout of the Western and Northern Aqueduct projects have also impacted the water tariff increase.
The forecast increases for sewerage and refuse tariffs were both 15%. However, following the reprioritisation and reviewing of all expenditure items, the increase has been reduced to a more affordable 9.9%.