KBY street lights on all day
Tariff increases for water, electricity, sanitation and refuse removal came into effect on the 1st of July. The tariff increments were made to include reducing the provision for bad debts, as well as by controlling the maximum electricity demand through different measures including ripple relay, street lights and reducing electricity usage.
While it seems residents of the town are putting in effort to use their electricity wisely, on numerous occasions, the Sol Plaatje municipality has left streets lights on for the whole day, contributing to the ongoing struggle of expensive electricity. Street lights in Montshiwa Street, around the City Hall, George and Chapel Street, Angel, Long and Bultfontein roads were seen on during broad daylight.
Residents were displeased with the municipality’s negligence, complaining that this is the reason why the tariffs are high.
Nthabiseng Macheou, CBD walker, says she can barely afford to buy her family prepaid electricity and yet the Sol Plaatje municipality is wasting electricity.
“I can barely afford to buy my kids electricity and yet Sol Plaatje are wasting the very same electricity they will block when we don’t pay our rates and taxes”.
Sol Plaatje municipality’s engineer, Aaron Groenewald explained that the lights are kept on to avoid cable theft as the municipality has suffered a lot of cable theft and vandalism of its electrical properties.
“We leave the street lights on because we have been experiencing tons of cable theft and vandalism of power stations and electrical poles, also because we are currently busy repairing them. It does affect the residents as it’s deducted from their rates and taxes, but it does not have to be like this if the community reports those who steal the cables and vandalize the power stations”.
Before the new tariff, residents were charged according to a four-block tariff which saw them paying from R1.05 a unit for block one (less than 50 Kwh), R1.35 for block two (51-350 Kwh), R1.90 for block three (351-600 Kwh) and R2.24 for block four (more than 600 Kwh).
The Sol Plaatje Municipality scrapped the idea of adjusting the residential tariffs according to the seasons, with residents paying more during winter’s peak periods.
The price of electricity (both prepaid and conventional meters) rose to R1.45 a unit (for 0-350 Kwh) and R2.02 for more than 350 Kwh (excluding VAT).