This is an update on the matters listed below. It is a bit longer than ideal but I encourage you to read it as there is useful information.
1. Herman Mashaba to talk at Rosebank Primary on Monday 25th at 18h30; and DA Manifesto launch on Sat 23rd
The DA Mayoral Candidate for Johannesburg will talk at the Rosebank Primary School (cor Bath and Jellicoe) next Monday 25th at 18h30. Why not come along and ask a question. Bring a friend. The upcoming elections are very important for Johannesburg and South Africa. Mashaba is a self made man who has the integrity and drive required for the job. He is also a believer in growth and job creation as the primary driver to improve the lot of South Africans, as opposed to socialism and race based nationalism.
And for anyone more hardcore the DA manifesto launch is at the Rand Stadium in Turffontein Rd tomorrow(Sat 23rd) from 10h00. You are most welcome to attend.
2. Electoral matters.
As predicted there was some confusion two weekends ago regarding the IEC's call for people to provide address details where these were inadequate. Here the IEC was just getting a jump start on what they anticipate will become a requirement for future elections. But this is likely to be effective from 2019/20. Rest assured that anyone who is registered will be able to vote on 3rd August - but only at the station where you are registered. The IEC estimates that about half the registered voters (so somewhere north of 10 million voters) have incomplete or no addresses. I do not think that there is any reason to hold conspiracy theories about this. It has not been a requirement so far, and the there may well have been database management issues.
The electoral roll will not close until the date for the election has been gazette by the Minister. This is likely to happen in the second half of May. So anyone who still needs to register, re-register, or provide address details, can still go to an IEC office to do so. Id books are necessary, proof of address is not. There is and IEC office at the regional offices of the City on the corner of Daisy and Grayston in Sandton.
As you know the strike is over. But collection is still behind schedule and somewhat patchy. There are also many illegal dump-spots and these will take a while to clear.
The terms of the settlement are not known so we will watch this space with interest. Some of you have asked about the prospects for a refund/credit to be passed. This matter was raised by the DA in a special Council meeting on 6th April. The City is able to argue that non-delivery or partial delivery was not willful but the result of an illegal strike. Further, contingency measures were put in place, even though these did not provide for a full service. This should also cover the City from action taken under the auspices of the Consumer Protection Act. Further, the by-laws classify refuse services as part of a tax so this delinks payment from service delivery.
See the note on tariffs below.
4. Integrated Development Plan
The City has been conducting public consultations on the draft integrated development plan - the IDP. This is a statutory requirement. The plan is basically around the rolling 3 year capex programme and can be accessed on the City website www . joburg . org . za Ward 90 does not really feature. A few observations:
See below for an email address where you can make comments.
5. Proposed tariffs to take effect from 1 July 2016
The proposed tariffs for the 2016/17 year are as laid out in tables below. The rates increase (5.9%) seems reasonable, as are the electricity tariffs - between 7% and 8%. Remember that 70% of City Power's cost structure is derived from the bulk purchase of power from Eskom, so they are to a large extent captured by the Nersa approved rates.
Johannesburg Water's increases are higher - 13% to 15%. They also are captive to the bulk water increases from Rand Water which are expected to be high this year, but not quite to the same extent as City Power. In both of these Utilities a reduction in the amount of physical system losses and losses from provision without payment would help to contain increases. But both utilities have a great need for capex expenditure. Johannesburg Water is also introducing a penalty tariff for level 2 restrictions. This is a bit more complicated and I will explain how it works in a later newsletter.
The outlier in terms of tariffs is Pikitup which are effectively increasing charges from between 18% to 129% depending on your property valuation. Most households in Ward 90 will be levied 83% or 129% more per month. Why is this so? Currently Pikitup receives about one third of it's income as a transfer from the assessment rates revenue from the City. This amounts to R650 million in the current financial year. There is now a national Treasury driven requirement that the tariff charges to become cost-reflective. This is behind the change. The issue here is whether the City deducted R650m from the required rates revenue before calculating the rates increase. If not, the City is double dipping. This matter will get some airtime going forward. The Pikitup charges are comprised of an increase per household valuation band (as well as the introduction of additional bands) plus the addition of a new "cleaning levy" per household. This levy is to cover common services such as street cleaning, informal settlements, removal of dumped rubble and so on.
See the next section for the email addresses for comment. I would encourage residents to ask the obvious questions about whether there is a set-off on rates against the new Pikitup charges.
6. Email addresses for comment on the IDP or tariff increases.
|BEAGLE CONTROL ROOM: 011 678 1972 www.beaglewatch.co.za|
|HGC Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Flying Squad: 10 111|
|Randburg SAPS vehicles: 071 675 7115 / 6|
City: 011 375 5911
ER24: 084 124
Netcare 911: 082 911
|Randburg Police: 011 449 9115 / 9110 / 9117 10111 for an emergency|
|Joburg Metro Police: 011 375 5911|
|Ward Councillor: 083 459 6152 Martin Williams email@example.com|
Joburg call centre:
Includes City Parks and Pikitup See Community Info --> Overview section for a full list of numbers
011 375 5555
|Electricity Issues: http://www.citypower.co.za and click "Fault Reporting" or on mobile http://citypower.mobi|
|Road Issues: firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Environmental Contraventions: 011 587 4232 1st point of contact for any issues arising from the Health Act (noise, restaurants, unsanitary backyards etc) email@example.com|
|Pollution: 011 226 8328 WisemanN@joburg.org.za|
|Revenue Queries: 011 375 5555|
|Traffic Signs and Markings: Jurie Swart JRA - Assistant Manager, Traffic Signs and Markings section for Region B firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Region B Contacts and Information: http://hurlingham.alpha.structureit.net/media/48375/Region-B.pdf|
|Building regulations: 011 407 6111|
|Eskom: 086 003 7566|