The approval of the Mangaung Metro’s budget has been referred to a further date for voting during a special metro council meeting in Bloemfontein.
Metro executive mayor, Thabo Manyoni, delivered his budget speech and announced various increases in services for the next year. The increase in the Metro’s assessments rate, which determines property rates, is 8% across the board. The sewage tariffs will increase by 8.2% for both residential and non-residential properties in 2016-17.
Manyoni said water tariffs will increase by 8% for the financial year. Electricity tariffs will increase by 11. 29% on average. Manyoni told the sitting that even with these increases, the city remains the cheapest compared to other metros.
The council has also decided to give incentives to rate payers who settle their accounts in full or make arrangements to pay their accounts. The mayor said this offer is valid until 29 July 2016. He appealed to all schools, churches, businesses and residential owners to make use of this opportunity.
Manyoni said the city’s indigents will continue to benefit from the institution’s social package. This includes a 100% rebate on rates and taxes, 50 kilowatts of free electricity, 10 kilolitres of free water and free refuse removal and sanitation. He said the city will spend R1.1 billion over the medium budget term, in providing basic services to those on the indigent register, including exemptions for churches, NGOs and senior citizens.
Manyoni said further installations of automated pre-paid water meters will follow in the next year. The metro has already installed these meters at Stillerus, Lentehof and Brandwag flats in the city. It was done to ensure that the consumer has full control over his or her water consumption, and to reduce the level of estimated readings.
Manyoni said further installations are under way at Lourierpark, Vista Park and Grassland. He said the initiative was well received by residents in these areas and the city has received requests to install the pre-paid meters in Bloemanda, Botshabelo’s section H, Bayswater, Heuwelsig and other areas of the metro.
The budget was not approved on Tuesday. The council decided to postpone voting on the budget for seven days.
André Grobler / Bloemfontein Courant