The City of eThekwini has proposed the introduction of a R100 flat rate for service delivery in the city’s rural areas.

Presenting his state of the city address on Tuesday (31 May) city mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said rural areas in the municipality have seen rapid population growth over the past few years which has led to increased demand for services like water, electricity and refuse collection.

“What is compounding our woes is that, while most rural areas are accessing some of our services like water supply, they are still not paying for them. We are currently engaging the Ingonyama Trust with an intention of finding a lasting solution,” he said.

“Due to rapid urbanization, these areas that were regarded as rural areas saw a dramatic growth of households, resulting in an increase in demand for basic services. Therefore, the provision of basic services in rural areas continues to be an unreachable target because of the movement of people from the urban areas to the rural areas.”

The move has been slammed by civil society group Abahlali baseMjondolo, which noted that service delivery in the city is at an all-time low, with refuse often lying uncollected in the streets.

The group also called the proposal ‘anti-poor’, noting that most citizens cannot afford an extra R100 a month.

“Any government that does not really understand extreme poverty which people are subjected to, mostly in rural communities, would propose such plan,” said S’Bu Zikode of Abahlali Basemjondolo told eNCA.

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