Several complaints from residents have been received over the last two weeks about high accounts. Although numerous communications have been issued in this regard, the Overstrand Executive Mayor, Dr Annelie Rabie, wishes to share the following.
There are four possible reasons why you may have received a higher-than-normal municipal account at the end of July 2023.
1. Number of days between water meter readings
The dates between water meter readings also play an important role as the system provides for calculation in accordance with the number of days, thus, if it is a longer period, you will receive more kl units consumed per sliding scale, to avoid incorrect charging, (example, 45 days’ consumption will be calculated as 30 days as well as another 15 days on the lower tariff of the sliding scale).
Residents will note that the number of days for the June account my be longer than usual as we had to get a final reading for the end of the financial year as at 3o June 2023, to close off the consumption readings for auditing purposes. This is an annual occurrence and nothing new.
2. Change of the Indigent Policy
The Indigent Policy has changed, and this has a great influence on consumers who were registered as Indigent Households Property value less than R220 000.00.
At the end of May 2023, the number of approved indigent Households was 7 433 but at the end of June 2023 it was 1 491 households, a reduction of 5 942 households, most probably because people did not re-apply.
– Because the 5 942 households did not receive subsidy in relation to June 2023, their bills are high and they are responsible for the total bill, until they come to apply again and qualify, they will receive the subsidy from the date of application.
However, the Municipality is currently busy with Indigent Roadshows, starting today in Mount Pleasant for the rest of the month of August. The dates for the other areas will be communicated closer to the actual date.
Applications received and approved during this time will be backdated to 1 July 2023.
Anyone may apply for an indigent policy on an on-going basis. Visit your nearest municipal office to fill in a form.
3. New tariffs kicked in on 1 July
The annual increase in rates and tariffs came into effect on 1 July 2023 and the municipal account reflected this increase.
Tariff increases are as follows:
- Development 6%
- Electricity 15.1%
- Refuse 6.8%
- Resorts 6%
- Sewer (Basic) 6.8%
- Sewer (Consumption) 7.5%
- Sundry 6.%
- Water (Basic) 6.5%
- Water (Consumption) 6.8%
4. Increase of Valuation Roll valuations to market value
The new valuation role was implemented on 1 July 2023. Properties are valued in accordance with the market value as on 2 July 2022.
Some clients’ rates payment increased in line with the market value on the account and some account holders will pay less due to the market value of the property.
It has also come our attention that there are some individuals who claims that they are responsible for the implementation of the indigent grant road shows. This is opportunistic, to say the least.
This decision was taken after Council amended the Indigent Policy, to be more advantageous for households that fell just outside the qualifying criteria, but who are still struggling with the payment of their municipal accounts. This council meeting was held on 26 July 2023. Hence, any claim to the contrary regarding additional support to struggling households, is untrue.
Mayor Rabie further urges the residents to continue applying for the indigent grant as it really assists vulnerable households and also ensure that the possibility of arrears on their municipal accounts.