Property valuation affects electricity costs

Victor Maxim, Eastridge

I bought a house in my name for my daughter and her children, which was valued at R315 000 in May 2023. With the new increase in electricity, the City of Cape Town also decided to increase the value of the property from 1 July 2023 to R520 000 (“Electricity increases ‘unjustified’,” Plainsman, July 12.

This to me is a deliberate move by the City to assure that we pay more for electricity whereby the tariff now is R3.71 where it previously was R1.80 per unit.

Due to the increase in the property valuation, the Lifeline option is now not available and she now falls under Domestic.

Although we appreciate the increase in the property valuation, I do not think that is a correct valuation, and, as mentioned above, it is a blatant move to ensure we and many others spend more on electricity.

In June, my daughter bought electricity and paid R1.80 per unit under the Lifeline. As from July, she paid R3.51 under Domestic.

People in Rondebosch whose property value is more than ours pay R1.56 per unit.

She is feeling the pinch regarding the increase and cannot afford it.

•Siseko Mbandezi, mayoral committee member for finance responds:

The City of Cape Town was not provided with the account details of the resident so that we could look into the particulars and to offer assistance directly to Mr Maxim and his family.

We know that many residents will be struggling as Eskom’s tariff hike enters the municipal billing cycle in July.

In order to assist households, the City is offering unprecedented social relief measures during 2023/24.

Lifeline tariff customers will pay significantly less per unit in the 350 – 600 usage band this winter.

We are also protecting all households from Eskom’s 18.5% tariff hike as much as possible, reducing this to 17.6% while still funding a reliable electricity service and plans to end load shedding.

With the City’s special protection, Lifeline tariff customers using 350 – 600 units will now pay only R1.84 in this usage band, compared to R3.15 per unit in 2022/23.

This will help to protect households using more electricity this winter, while an average usage of 450 units over a 12-month period still applies to remain in this tariff category.

Residents should purchase smaller amounts as needed to stay on the cheaper tariff band.

Residents who have moved from the Lifeline tariff to the Domestic tariff because their properties are now valued at more than R500 000, after the General Valuation (2022) may, however, qualify for rates rebates, indigent or pensioner support.

If they do, they could receive their supply at the Lifeline tariff on application.

We urge Mr Maxim to approach us so that we can assist.

Relief is available for indigent households, pensioners and residents in receipt of social grants who are struggling to settle their municipal accounts.

We ask residents to visit their nearest customer office to see if they qualify for support.

Before re-applying, residents must remember to pay off any money that is owed to the municipality.

All property owners were also given an opportunity to submit an objection by April 30 to dispute their municipal valuation.

We once again encourage Mr Maxim and all residents to approach us for assistance or visit our website for useful contacts and for information about the available support.