Residents in Johannesburg are set to receive a double-shock this month after a R200 surcharge for electricity users was added to the municipal rates increases. Although the charge doesn’t apply to homes valued at less than R350 000, the change will still affect millions of locals in Gauteng.
Why is there a R200 surcharge for electricity in Johannesburg?
Introduced by energy provider City Power, the cash-strapped service seem to be taking a leaf out of Cape Town’s book. The Mother City introduced its own rates recently, which they claim goes towards supporting the maintenance of the grid and the upkeep of Eskom.
As MoneyWeb report, City Power are yet to explain the method behind this apparent madness. Pre-paid electricity users could end up paying 66% more if they use up just 300 kilowatts per hour in a month.
This is the lower end of the consumption scale, and in comparison to someone using upwards of 500kw/h (who would “only” feel an increase of 40% in their bills), those being resourceful with their electricity are being harshly punished. Any “discreet” efforts to sweep these changes under the carpet have been foiled by savvy social media users:
@CityPowerJhb correct me if I’m wrong, but for 667 units which I used to pay for R1000 is now R1, 415??? 40% increase. I also include the ‘clever’ R200 levy on prepaid5:17 PM – Jul 3, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee HappyChap’s other Tweets
Municipal rates, electricity tariff rising in Johannesburg
The surcharge comes into effect this month along with the increased municipal tariffs. Even bus companies and refuse collectors are feeling the pinch, with Johannesburg operator Rea Vaya cranking the fees up by 7%. Despite a forecast petrol price decline in July, five previous increases in 2019 have taken their toll:
- Water up by 9.9%.
- Property rates up by 5.5%.
- Electricity up by 13.07%, plus a R200 surcharge.
- Refuse removal up by 7%.
- Rea Vaya bus fares up by 7%.
Where else is this happening?
Tshwane has also attempted to implement the R200 fee, but they’ve been challenged in court: AfriForum made it clear that they are not opposed to the R56 proposed tariff increase, as it is in line with the metro’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP). However, they will oppose the other two proposed increases of R120 and R200.
If this is allowed, the lobby group says, then the increases will exceed Nersa’s recommendation of a 13.8% increase for all municipalities. Pre-paid electricity customers already pay City Power a charge of R402 a month, a number which will rise to R602 by the end of July.