The City of Cape Town has said that a water tariff increase of 55.16% may be on the cards for households in the city.

Talking to Kieno Kammies on Radio 702 on Monday morning, Cape Town Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson confirmed that a hefty increase is on the cards to deal with the water crisis facing the city.

“What we have proposed in the draft budget is a 27% overall increase for water in revenue in total, but there is a differentiated increase across the tariff band.

“Under Level 6 water restrictions, the proposal is that the increase will be from R26 to R40 on the first six kilolitres. Under these circumstances where we are only selling water in the first two bands, that unfortunately is the number,” said Neilson.

He went on to say that there are two considerations they are looking into, one is re-phasing some of the work in the water department so they can bring down that overall requirement of 27%.

“We are focusing very strongly on whatever savings we can achieve to bring down that particular tariff because we do realise it is excessive. The second thing is if we feel some restrain and we move off Level 6 water restrictions, obviously it will be a completely different scenario.”

The City’s Draft Tariff, Fees and Charges Book states that consumers  who use between zero and 6kl of water per month will pay 55.16% more for water. This tariff increase, however, will not apply to low-income and pensioner households.

Xanthea Limberg, mayoral Committee Member for informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services and Energy, told IOL that only the first step of the tabled domestic non-indigent tariff will increase by 55.16%.

The second step of the tariff, which is 4.5kl, will increase by 6.2%. It has also been proposed that three and four, as well as steps five and six, are combined. This will mean that the number of tariffs will be reduced from six steps to just four.

Although the charges book does make mention of the 26.9% increase, it only applies to non-potable water for domestic and commercial users, schools, golf clubs and departments.

Calculations also indicate that the tariff excluding VAT was R25.26 in the 2017/16 financial year. The proposed tariff for the 2018/19 financial year is R40.73, which is a R14.48 increase.

The proposed tariffs are aimed at securing the resources necessary to overcome the challenges presented by the drought.  The City has made drastic changes to prioritise existing funds to minimize the burden of these funds on the City’s residents.

Picture: Pixabay

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.