Residents in the Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni municipalities are in for hefty tariff hikes for water and electricity.
The two cities presented budget outlooks for the 2022-2023 financial year.
While both cities had committed to ensuring service delivery gets a boost through the maintenance of infrastructure and roads, the financial hikes for essential services come at a tough time for consumers.
Inflation had been rising in recent months, kicking up the price of food, while the petrol price had also worsened the financial outlook for citizens.
While presenting proposed budgets, the DA-led governments in Ekurhuleni and Joburg said they had done a better job governing the metro than the previous ANC administration.
Despite the insistence from the metros' leaders on its swift road to recovery under the DA, the EFF and the ANC in the City had attacked the proposed budget for the next financial year as being anti-poor.
The DA-led coalition government took office in November last year in both metros. Joburg MMC for Finance Julie Suddaby said the proposed increases for services were partly out of the City's control.
She said Nersa and Rand Water determined the electricity and water hikes and the City had no choice but to charge consumers more.
Tariff increases for Joburg will include:
Property rates will increase by 4.85%.
Electricity will increase by 7.47%.
Water will increase by 9.75%.
Sanitation will increase by 9.75%
Refuse increases by 5%.
Joburg had also seen an increase in its revenue generation capacity since embarking on a campaign to punish customers who failed to pay.
The budget collection for the City had increased by R11.5-billion since January.
In Ekurhuleni, Finance MMC Fana Nkosi said the City's government had been able to turn around the financial reserves of the metro and increase revenue collection.
The City had also been downgraded late last year, but it had since been able to recover from a credit rating boost in April. He was delivering the 2022-2023 budget on Wednesday.
He made various promises on investments for the City's roads and infrastructure spending for the following year. The City had also committed to spending more on fixing potholes and maintenance of electricity, water and sewer services in its R48-billion budget.
He said the City's collection rate had improved while the City's cash reserves had been increased from 14 days to 21 days.
The City also aimed to increase its surplus income. The MMC said despite resistance from residents against increases in particular services such as water and electricity, the increase was a necessary pain.
The City aimed to increase electricity tariffs by 9.61% and water and sanitation by 11%.
The MMC said the increase was necessary as the City relied on these income streams for 62% of its budget. Opposition political parties that formed part of the DA-led coalition government largely supported the budget, saying it spoke to the aims of rebuilding the "mess left by the ANC", the DA said.
The ANC tore into the speech, with the party saying it would not support it. The former governing party said Ekurhuleni residents should expect hardship ahead with the increases proposed on water and electricity.
"A budget that lacks a strategic direction and falls short in giving proper meaning to the implementation of the GDS2055 2. A budget that is out of touch with the economic realities, and of course, a budget that is not underpinned by the views and inputs of the communities. From this budget policy statement, we can safely say that communities must expect stagnation and hardship," said ANC deputy regional chairperson Jongizizwe Dlabathi.
"Your proposed tariffs are unjust, unaffordable, and lead to high consumer debts and suffering. They will worsen the current liquidity challenge we are facing as a city."
The ANC voted against the budget. Meanwhile, the EFF voted in support of the budget. The party said it had agreed not to challenge the passing of the budget, which could have hampered its approval in council.
Sharing similar sentiments as the ANC, the EFF said it was not pleased with the proposed increase for water, sanitation, and electricity tariffs as an added squeeze on struggling residents. City of Joburg councillors would vote on the budget approval on Friday.