24 August 2020 - NW1310
Groenewald, Mr IM to ask the Minister of Finance
(1)Whether, with reference to the negative economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on communities at large, the National Treasury is considering measures to assist municipal ratepayers and/or recommending any prescripts for municipalities to this effect; (2) whether he will make a statement on the matter?
1. National Treasury does not recommend that municipalities provide relief from property rates beyond what is already provided for in existing municipal policies (such as exemptions for indigent households). Municipalities face lower revenues due to a combination of lower demand for services such as electricity and water, and significantly higher non-payment rates for municipal bills. At the same time, they are faced with additional costs in responding to the pandemic. This would not be an appropriate time for municipalities to reduce their property rates.
2. The Supplementary Budget Review tabled on 24 June 2020 discussed the decline in municipal revenue collection and noted that, “The extent to which municipal bills are paid in the months ahead will depend on the duration of restrictions on economic activity, the pace of recovery and the application of revenue collection measures.” No further statements on municipal revenue collections as they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic are planned at this stage.