‘Rates too high for the aged’
The ACDP representative in Mossel Bay, Councillor Jeanette Gouws, tabled an urgent motion to council to address rates, tariffs and changes to subsidies affecting pensioners, who face it increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to afford municipal services.
"I would like to draw the attention of this council to the predicament of pensioners in this town, who make up a huge percentage of the account holders of this municipality.
"In this last month and a half I have had dozens of calls from distressed and irate account holders who are deeply upset by changes to policies and tariffs because of the impact this has had on their accounts, Councillor Gouws said.
She stressed that many, but not all account holders she had spoken to had been SASSA pension recipients and that pensioners literally just could not afford the new charges.
"We all know the economic circumstances in South Africa, but I feel we have a duty to care in practical ways for our pensioners who have contributed for years to the growth and development of our country.
"By this motion, I want to direct an urgent request to the council and specifically the DA to speedily investigate these concerns and address them urgently.
After a short caucus at the request of the DA, the executive mayor, Alderman Harry Levendal, said the ruling party cannot support the urgent motion. He added that the municipality had embarked on a Cost of Supply study that would review the municipality's tariff policy, including the indigent policy and tariffs.
The Cost of Supply study would specifically investigate several scenarios before guidelines would be proposed.
Once ready, a thorough public participation process would follow.
Councillor Jeanette Gouws