Do I support the rates and charges increase – answer – No
Municipalities and the Nation’s electricity provider Eskom, need to understand that rates, electricity, water and sewer/garbage charges are paid not only on a value for money basis, but more importantly affordability comes into the equation.
The payments are made, in good faith, not to cover extravagant salaries, nepotism and general mismanagement by municipal employees nor ridiculous increases at a time of national crisis. The so called essential services were, anyway severely lacking during the lockdown, when even emails containing pictures of water and electricity meters were returned to every sender with the message, “COJ estimations mail box full”.
The present lockdown and associated closure of many businesses has resulted in the loss of jobs for millions, savings, if any, have been depleted and small businesses, their ex-employees and the private dwellings that once supported the tax collection system and the municipalities have been reduced in many cases to zero income over the past nine/ten weeks. The citizens of South Africa are simply unable to pay even the present amounts.
It would be wise for Municipalities nationwide to reduce, massively, electricity charges, along with all the associated network, capacity and surcharges. The same wise adjustments should be applied to water, rates and sewer charges as the citizens, who ARE the Nation rebuild their lives.
Payments holidays should have been introduced on day one of lockdown 2020.
Do I support the budget – answer – NO!
Due to the poor service delivery during the many years before, and during lockdown 2020, the municipality of Johannesburg needs to take stock of their capabilities and the shocking manner in which they conduct the business of running the once pride of Africa and once City of Gold, Johannesburg.
Any increases are not deserved by the staff of COJ.
At this time of national crisis, the citizens of this Nation have a responsibility to their fellow citizens and that is to make allowances for the severity of the economical collapse that has occurred.
Just as businesses have lost income, so then must all employees, and this includes all “so called” essential services employees, adjust their lives to a reduced salary, as the Nation and it’s citizens rebuild.