THE Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Thursday called on the City of Johannesburg to scrap proposed increase in property rate and forgo any salary increases for employees and councillors as the city grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was revealed at the virtual council meeting held to consider the 2020/2021 budget for the City of Johannesburg.
The budget, property rates policy and Integrated Development plan were passed with 228 votes to the EFF’s 29 votes.
In response, the city lowered proposed tariff increases and threw the gauntlet to all other parties in council to agree to a freeze in salary increases.
Property rates increases were decreased from an initially proposed 4.9% to 4% while water tariff increases were lowered from 8.6% to 4.6% while electricity increases were also dropped.
The city’s budget for the coming year will be R68.1 billion, which represents a 7% increase in revenue.
The EFF said the city’s budget was “absurd” under the current economic circumstance.
The R60.1 billion will go towards operational expenditure.
The city said it will create jobs through cleaning programmes among a range of programmes that will see 15 people per ward to complement clean-up work and refuse removal from Pikitup.
The city also said it will spend R80 million on new Rea Vaya buses to ease congestion among a total of 15 expenditure items.
The City of Joburg also announced that it will reinstate the free 6 kl of water to every household and will put R 400 million into the pockets of households through rebates and property tax credits.
(Compiled by Inside Education staff)