The Citizen (Gauteng)

City milks us with absurd ‘levies’

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One would have thought that, as we head towards municipal elections, the City of Joburg would try not to antagonise the goose it squeezes for the golden eggs which keep the city running… the long-suffering ratepayers. Yet, with two new absurd “levies” – which are nothing more than taxes by stealth – our municipal apparatchi­ks are doing just that.

The council is planning a surcharge on prepaid electricit­y which, claim critics, will effectivel­y double the cost of electricit­y. And, not content with that, there is a proposal for a “recycling” surcharge, which is supposed to compensate the municipali­ty for the effort they go to in separate household waste.

In the latter case, that totally disregards the immensely valuable contributi­on made by our suburban “waste pickers”, not only to the economy (in reducing joblessnes­s) but also to the environmen­t by recycling waste materials before they hit the municipal dumps. These unsung heroes of suburbia save municipali­ties about R750 million a year in doing their jobs for them.

These two new taxes are yet another way the City of Joburg is trying to gouge us to make up for revenue it lost (as did many of us) due to the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Let’s toss this cynical exploitati­on on the dump.

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