Analysis of impacts of rates and tariffs on households and businesses in the city of Johannesburg (CoJ): final report

OUTPUT TYPE: Research report- other
TITLE AUTHOR(S): S.Karuaihe, C.Nhemachena, S.Ngandu, J.Josie
DEPARTMENT: Impact Centre (IC), Impact Centre (PRESS), Impact Centre (CC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 8429
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/1945

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The City of Johannesburg (CoJ) commissioned this study to assess the impact of rates and tariffs on residents and businesses in Johannesburg. The focus was on the ability of households to pay for rates and tariffs for municipal services from the CoJ. In order to ease the burden on poor households, the Social Package Policy (SPP) that provides benefits based on a poverty index was introduced by the CoJ. Given the current socio-economic challenges prevalent in the CoJ Metro, the City wishes to review its tariff structures and take into account the potential negative consequences that could affect all communities. This consideration is one of the motivations for why the CoJ commissioned this study to assess the impacts of rates and tariffs on its residents and businesses. The main objective of the study was to analyse the impact of rates and tariffs on the households and business of CoJ. Such analysis depends not, only on primary survey responses, but also on key strategic data at the City level to give baseline indications and trend analysis of relevant policy variables. However, limitations on secondary data for billing and rates could not allow an impact analysis of the prevailing billing conditions of the City and how the proposed rates and tariffs would affect future policy interventions. The findings presented in the report are based on perceptions and responses of households and businesses from CoJ. The nature of the City's comprehensive rates and tariff structures, across property and utilities, is largely determined by differences in the socio-economic groups serviced, different target markets, accessibility of services, size of facilities, previous imbalances and the facility status. Although the current study sheds some light on issues of ability to pay by households, the prevailing CoJ rates and tariff policies are more complex and require further studies for effective impact analysis of each policy tool, which is beyond the scope of the current study.