On Thursday, the eThekwini municipality tabled its draft budget and announced service tariff increases across the board, including water, electricity, sanitation and refuse removal tariffs. KWAZI DLAMINI spoke to Durbanites to find out how they feel about the ever-increasing cost of living in south Africa.
Zachariah Shezi, 35, social worker, Mayville
The hikes are going to affect us a lot, especially us who are renting here in Durban. The rent will definitely go up. The cost of living is getting [more] expensive by the day so I am not surprised by these hikes. The country needs to make money too and we cannot expect things to stay the same but we must also get pay increases as well to keep up with the expensive cost of living. These hikes are fair; the municipality also needs to fix these roads and keep the city in high standards. These hikes will not have an effect when I cast my vote because I understand how things work.
Thembeka Sityatya, 38, street vendor, KwaMashu
The municipality has never been fair to anyone; they only think about themselves when they increase these prices. We are struggling to make ends meet; now we have to keep up with rising prices. As if the rising prices of cooking oil and other basic needs were not enough. The following elections will give me the power to voice out my anger. This will have an impact on how I cast my vote, I will also be doing it for my children. It is going to be difficult for us to make a budget now because the money we make a month has never been enough.
Innocent Ndlovu, 25, packer at Checkers, Chesterville
I don’t usually take notice of these things but they will affect us, especially taxpayers. I will not complain because I have never voted before and I will not vote because this is what we get in return – high rates. What they are doing is not fair to us, there are poor people out there who can barely afford bread now this is going to make things worse for them. The municipality must come with other ways to pay their debts and not use us because we don’t know much about these things.
Dorah Jonas, 42, store manager, Inanda
I work in the stores and I always see prices going up and I always feel sorry for people, now its electricity and water. I always think it is not fair for the municipality to raise the tariffs while people do not have financial freedom. How are they going to keep up with all of these expenses. It will affect businesses, they have to spend more on electricity and water which means they also have to find a way to cover those expenses, they are obviously going to charge more. I think people should vote for change in South Africa; so many times we have been promised change but nothing happened.
Ezala Chimaimba, 25, student, South Beach
Ever since I got here rent has been going up every year because of water and electricity going up also. That is how this is going to affect my everyday life. The water part is a tricky one, I think they hike it because they know we need water and we cannot survive without it. Unfortunately, I cannot vote as I am not South African but this is really bad for the people. If electricity price goes up then we should not have another load shedding, the money should be used to save Eskom from the troubles they have been having.
Voxes have been edited for brevity and clarity.