We may have been enjoying cooler weather these last few days, but we are still in the middle of a drought, one of the worst this country has seen. Not only has this drought heavily affected our farming industry, it seriously affected our water supply. Since January, Cape Town has been on Level Two water restrictions. These restrictions include things like watering your garden on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for an hour only and not washing hard or paved surfaces. We are also encouraged to use water as efficiently as possible.

There are no official punishments for not following these restrictions, but failure to do so can lead to higher water bills for everyone. The City of Cape Town has warned residents to expect higher water bills if they have not reduced their water consumption. In general, the hot weather, extended billing period and Level Two water restrictions might lead you to notice a spike in your water bill this month.

This may be uncomfortable in the current economic climate. Many economists expect Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to announce tax hikes in his vital budget speech this afternoon, and the last thing anyone wants is to shell out more of their hard earned money. But water is the most precious resource on the planet and we do need to take care of it. The City stated that it is necessary to reduce overall water consumption by 10%, and this can only be achieved if we all work together and adhere to the water restrictions.

I know if feels as if the slogan ‘be water wise’ is being shoved down our throats, but it really is important. The higher tariff is not designed to punish everyone, rather it is designed so that the price of water per kilolitre (kl) goes up if you have exceeded certain water consumption levels during the month. So if you are wise, you will not pay more. For example:

  • The first 6 kl ) is free
  • After usage exceeds 6 kl, but before usage reaches 10,5 kl for the month (Step 2), each kilolitre will cost R11,66/kl
  • After usage exceeds 10,5 kl, but before usage reaches 20 kl for the month (Step 3), each kilolitre will cost R18,24/kl
  • After usage exceeds 20 kl, but before usage exceeds 35 kl for the month (Step 4), each kilolitre will cost R29,75/kl, and so forth

To see how these tariffs will affect your specific situation click here.

In addition to using water wisely, you are also encouraged to report any water waste you see. If you see any evidence of water being wasted, you can report it on 0860 103 089. Let’s all work together to help save water and avoid higher bills while we are at it!

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