eThekwini Municipality is proposing a monthly flat tax of R100 for all households in rural areas to pay for services.
The announcement was made by the Mayor of eThekwini , Mxolisi Kaunda, made during his State of the City address.
WHY THE TAX?< /p>
According to Kaunda, rapid population growth in rural areas in recent years has led to increased demand for water, electricity and garbage collection.
“What compounding our problems is that while most rural areas have access to services like water, they don’t pay for them,” he said.
Kaunda said the municipality will submit the proposal to the Ingonyama Trust Board, the royal Zulu organization that owns rural land in Durban.
“Due to rapid urbanization e Areas considered rural have experienced dramatic household growth, leading to an increase in demand for basic services.
“Providing basic services in rural areas remains an unattainable goal as People are moving from urban areas to rural areas,” he said.
Kaunda said recent flooding in the province has washed away some of the road infrastructure, reducing access to roads in townships and rural communities.
“Last year, we committed to converting 42.5 km of access roads from gravel to tar in both rural and urban communities. We are happy to report that the city has achieved more than 83% of our target.
“However, due to the recent flooding, some of this road infrastructure has been badly damaged damaged and by re-prioritizing the budget the city has allocated R1bn for new roads and maintenance.”
Shack dwellers’ movement Abahlali baseMjondolo rejected the proposal, saying it was “anti-poor”.
Speaking on eNCA, leader S’Bu Zikode said the provision of services in rural areas is at an all-time low and rubbish often lies uncollected on the streets.
“Given the economic situation, we don’t think of a sensible one Government will propose such tax unless unemployment rate is addressed,” he said.
“Trash is piling up everywhere but people are paying interest and getting it nothing back,” he said.
“We believe that the Ingonyama Trust is there for the people and we don’t think His Majesty would allow such a thing. We know very well that the people of KwaZulu-Natal in rural areas are suffering and living in serious poverty.”
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