Reduce tariffs for pensioners, ACDP calls
"Pensioners are feeling the pinch of higher tariffs and the DA-led council is dragging its heels and not assisting all residents with regards to discounts and subsidies."
This is the opinion of ACDP councillor Jeanette Gouws.
In a press statement, Gouws said the ACDP was disappointed council had made no attempt to assist pensioners in Mossel Bay regarding unaffordable tariffs and maximising the discounts and subsidies they received in the past.
Practice conflicts Act
Gouws said: "Residents who live in complexes have seen their refuse bill more than double now that each resident is charged a collection fee for refuse despite the fact that they take their refuse to a single collection point.
“This conflicts with the Municipal Systems Act Section 74 part 2 (b), which states that the amount individual users pay for services should generally be in proportion to their use of that service and is in addition to the 15% hike in price for all residents.
"While the DA has undertaken to contract a company to do a Cost of Supply study, residents continue to struggle from month to month with some residents stating that they would have to sell their homes as it was becoming unaffordable to live in Mossel Bay."
DA denied ACDP motion
Gouws continued: "The ACDP motion in council in September for adjustments to be made to the tariffs was denied by the DA, which cited that it was illegal to reduce tariffs in a financial year.
"While section 28 of the MFMA part 6 states that tax and tariffs cannot be increased during a financial year except when required in terms of a financial recovery plan it does not state that tariffs cannot be reduced.
"In July this year the DA-ed council made a decision to reduce the tariffs charged for graves by subsidising the tariff. Despite the protestations from the DA, this can also be done for the applicable tariffs, discounts and subsidies specifically for pensioners. This has not been done.
“Despite support from other parties the ACDP motion was rejected by the DA majority," Gouws said.
‘This municipality is in a very healthy financial position. It is legal to reduce tariffs during a financial year.’
"This municipality is in a very healthy financial position. It is legal to reduce tariffs during a financial year. This has been demonstrated by the reduction for cemetery tariffs earlier this year. What is necessary is for the DA to find the political will to assist our pensioners," Gouws concluded.