Residents of Cape Town have until midnight to comment on the city’s proposed drought charge.

The charge is meant to help the city recoup income they are not receiving due to the province’s drought. Because residents and businesses have cut their water usage, the city says it has an income shortage. Money from the drought charge will go towards funding new projects like increasing output from the Atlantis aquifer, accessing water from the Oranjezicht Main Springs and constructing desalination plants.

“It is a temporary, yet necessary measure, subject to the rainfall and dam levels. It will be implemented for the next three years, from 1 February 2018, until the dam levels have sufficiently increased,” the city says on its website.

The drought charge is based on property value and will be calculated at between 10% and 11% of the rates portion of residents’ municipal account.

The charge will affect owners of residential properties, valued at more than R400 000, and business properties, valued at more than R50 000.

The city has already received more than 54 000 comments.

Johan van der Merwe, mayoral committee member for finance in Cape Town, told IOL “a “drought charge is critical” in order to make up the shortfall of revenue in order to “increase the security of our water supply”.

The city council will discuss the comments at a meeting on Friday.

According to the city’s dashboard Day Zero, when taps will run dry, is projected to be April 22 2018. The province’s dam levels are currently at 29,7%, yet only 54% of residents are using the prescribed 87 litres or less per day to avoid Day Zero.

Read more about the drought charge info here:


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