Rates to increase along with electricity tariff hike

By Jessica Anne Wood

Despite the Eskom tariff hike of 9.4% having been implemented on 1 April 2016, consumers in South Africa’s major cities can expect other tariff increases in the coming months. The City of Cape Town, the City of Johannesburg and Ethekwini Municipality have released draft policies for rates and tariff increases for 2016/2017.

The City of Cape Town

The total average electricity tariff increase for the City of Cape Town is 7.78%, according to the draft policy released by the city. The proposed electricity tariff increases for 2016/2017 for domestic and home users (a new category) are as follows: 

*All prices depicted as cents per kilowatt hour (kWh).

For the proposed commercial electricity tariff increases, click here.

In addition to the proposed electricity tariff hike, the City of Cape Town has also announced proposed tariff increases for solid waste management, water and sanitation, and rates increases.

For solid waste and management a tariff increase of 7.92% for collections and 12.08% for disposals has been approved. For the miscellaneous tariffs for cleaning, an increase of 5.6% has been approved. “The Solid Waste Tariffs are levied to recover costs of services provided directly to customers and include refuse collection fees, disposal fees, compost sales, weighbridge fees and other ad hoc services,” explained the City of Cape Town.

A proposed tariff increase of 9.75% has been announced for consumptive water and sanitation, and a six percent increase in the bulk water tariff has been approved. According to the City, “The tariff increases are necessary to address essential operational requirements, maintenance of existing infrastructure, new infrastructure provision and to ensure the financial sustainability of the service.”

In addition, a 5.9% increase for the water and sanitation miscellaneous tariff has been proposed. This is levied for the provision of various services by the Department of Water and Sanitation, including the installation of water connections and the testing of meters.

A Draft Rates Policy has been released by the City of Cape Town detailing proposed rate increase for residential, commercial and other properties. The proposed increase for residential properties is R0,006397. This is the base rate upon which all other rate increase are measured against.

Senior citizens who are registered owners of residential properties qualify for special rebates according to gross monthly household income of the persons normally residing on that property.

The senior citizen rebates, based on gross monthly household income, are as follows:


From the above table, the proposed rebates for senior citizens appear to be more generous than those of 2015/16. The income bands have been increased, with a higher income value now being eligble for a rate rebate. In 2015/16, the maximum monthly income eligble for a rebate was R12, 000, however, in 2016/17 this has been increased to R15, 000. The change in the income brackets also mean that even if a person’s income has not increased, they may now enjoy a higher rebate that last year.

For the special rebate qualifying criteria and commercial rate increases, click here.

The City of Johannesburg

The City of Johannesburg has released amendment of tariff charges for water services and sewerage and sanitation services for 2016/17, seeking council approval. The document proposes tariff increases for water and sanitation services for both metered and pre-paid meter customers.

The proposed tariff increases for metered customers are as follows:


The proposed tariff increases for pre-paid metered customers are:


In addition to the above, the City of Johannesburg also released proposed private dwelling domestic sanitation tariff increases. According to the City, these proposed increases are:


The proposed pre-paid meter domestic sanation tariffs for 2016/17, according to the City of Joahnnesburg, are as follows:


The proposed sewerage and santation charges for consumers who have a drainage system connected to Johannesburg Water’s sewer network are:

For consumers making use of a residential pre-paid meter where there is a drainage system connected to Johannesburg Water’s sewer, the fees are as follows:


An annual allocation for emergencies of four kilolitres will be provided free of charge to a consumer, the City of Johannesburg highlighted.

Ethekwini Municipality

According to the Ethekwini Municipality draft rates policy for 2016/2017: “The Municipality will, by resolution, as part of each annual operating budget process, determine a rate in the rand for every category of property. The rate in the rand may determine any increases in rates.

Rates may be increased annually, in accordance with the budget resolution, as result of– a) any increase in the Budget; b) any increase in rebates, exemptions and or reductions; c) any Regulatory changes to ratio’s as prescribed in terms of section 19 of the Act; d) any decrease in the market value of property; or e) any other related reason not listed above.”

The revised tariffs for Ethekwini Municipality are available at set locations around the municipality, and unlike the City of Cape Town and the City of Johannesburg, do not have digital copies for consumers to access. The revision of tariff documents are available in the Ethekwini Municipality from:

  • Foyers of City Hall
  • Electricity Headquarters
  • Water Headquarters
  • City Engineers
  • Sizakala Customer Services Centres throughout the Municipality.


For more information on the tariff and rates changes in your area, contact your local municipality.

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