‘Ra­tes too high for the a­ged’

Mossel Bay Advertiser - - News - Nic­key le Roux

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.

DA re­spon­se

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

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