Electricity to be increased by Kouga Municipality to almost 14%

Kouga Municipality has announced a steep, almost 14% increase (13.87% for electricity on average) in electricity prices from July this year, plus increases for other services averaging around 7 % as follows:
• 7,5% for property rates
• 7.5% for water
• 8% for sanitation
• 8% for refuse
• 5% for the Environmental Management Fee
The steep increases for electricity and other services are part of draft budget and draft Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for the new financial year fom July, which were adopted by the Kouga Council on 29 March)
In defense of the increase the mayor, Horatio Hendricks, maintains the municipality tried to keep the prices down . He maintains further that firstly “there are factors beyond the municipality’s control” and secondly that its prices depended on Eskom’s prices and how much more Nelson Mandela Bay charged Kouga Municipality for water.
“Municipalities are further compelled by law to cover the cost of delivering he added.basic services through the income for that service,”
In terms of the draft budget the operating revenue for 2019/20 totals R833.972-million. This is an increase of 9.7% compared to the 2018/19 Adjustments Budget.The main revenue sources are basic service delivery (54.75%), property rates (23.81%) and operating grants and subsidies (15.96%).
The operating expenditure for 2019/20 totals R889.468-million, resulting in a budget deficit of R55.496-million. It is a 8.5% increase compared to the 2019/20 Adjustments Budget.
The main expenditure items are employee-related costs (32.71%), bulk electricity purchases (25.71%) and depreciation (9.57%).
The draft capital budget for 2019/20 totals R89.932-million, which is a decrease of 57.08% compared to the 2018/19 Adjustments Budget. The decrease is mainly due to the allocation of the Water Services Infrastructure Grant to the municipality during the current financial year.
Capital projects on the draft include R2-million for the acquisition of land for housing projects, a priority identified in the IDP for various communities.
A further R2-million will be used to purchase wheelie bins for households and R1.5-million for roads while almost R10-million has been earmarked for the upgrade of sport facilities, with the bulk going to KwaNomzamo.
Also included are upgrades to parks such as Yellowwoods at Hankey, Pellsrus and Kabeljous at Jeffreys Bay and the Cape St Francis Beach.
Almost R16-million is set to go towards the completion of the Sea Vista Waste Water Works upgrade, R8,7-million for the KwaNomzamo Waste Water Works and R4.4-million towards the Patensie sewerage package plant.
A further R2.3-million will be used for the municipality’s programme to eradicate the bucket system.
Several electricity projects have also been prioritized for the new financial year, including the electrification of houses at Ocean View and Kruisfontein. R1.2 million has also been earmarked for public lights.
The full list of proposed capital projects can be viewed in the draft document.