Plumtree residents petition council over rates hike

PLUMTREE residents have petitioned the local authority over a 350% to 800% rates increase for various services, contrary to the proposed increase of between 100% and 300% for 2020.

BY PATRICIA SIBANDA

In a letter dated November 28, addressed to Plumtree town secretary David Luthe and signed by chairperson Richard Khumalo, Plumtree Combined Residents and Development Association (PCRADA) said the local authority had deviated from the original proposal and ignored concerns raised during the annual budget consultative meetings.

“Having noted that the main platform available for us as residents is through budget consultation meetings, we also note that our suggestions made during the meetings have not been incorporated into the advertised tariffs,” the letter read.

They called for the council to revisit the issue.

“Therefore, as Plumtree residents … we have resolved to submit our objections,” the letter read.
PCRADA’s complaint came after the local authority advertised on November 1, 350% to 800% tariff hikes for 2020.

Contacted for comment, council chairperson Fanisani Dube said residents were supposed to object soon after the advert came out.

“No one objected when the paper got published and it is impossible to amend because they are very late. Indeed, we saw the letter that was sent to us, but the problem is when we have those meetings, people do not usually comment,” Dube said.

“People were supposed to write the letter soon after publication.”

He said they would make sure that a meeting with the residents is organised to clarify issues and procedures on rates changes.

“We will set up a meeting with the residents and try to explain to them how it works. What happens is if the budget has been advertised, there is no turning back,” Dube said.

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