Cape Town's tabled budget means residents will pay a high price for scarce water

Cape Town's tabled budget means residents will pay a high price for scarce water

- Mayor Patricia de Lille has tabled a draft R49.1bn budget for the 2018/19 year of which R39.9bn is for operational expenditure and R9.2bn for capital expenditure

- The City of Cape Town plans to augment its income with a 26% water increase bringing in just more than R3 billion for water augmentation schemes.

- A further R9.4bn from property rates and R12bn from electricity sales is required.

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The City of Cape Town's proposed budget for the 2018/19 financial year will see massive increases in property rates and taxes, to accumulate enough revenue for investment in water augmentation schemes.

A 26% water increase will bring in just over R3 billion which will be invested into water reclamation, desalination plants and underground extraction.

In addition to the water increases is a fixed level 6 water restriction tariff increase in the 2018/19 financial year and a minimum fixed charge of R56 a month for homeowners with water meters that are 15mm in size.

A sanitation restriction charge has also increased, and if the budget is approved, residents will pay 78% more, gathered.

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Homeowners with a property value of R1million or more will pay a flat rate of R150 a month for electricity on top of their monthly bills.

Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for water, informal settlements and energy, said the City needs sustainable streams of income as the drought has made issues difficult.

“In light of the current severe drought, various initiatives are planned over the next few years to ensure sustainability and resilience in the provision of water to the City. This includes investments in desalination, underground extraction from aquifers and water reclamation,” Limberg said.

It is proposed that municipal services will increase as follows:

  1. Property rates by 7.20%
  2. Electricity by 8.14%
  3. Water by 26.96%
  4. Sanitation by 26.96%
  5. Refuse by 5.70%.

For poorer households the punitive level 6 water tariff will not apply to them if their consumption is less than 10.5 kilolitres.

Non-indigent users would be charged a minimum of R40.73 if their consumption is between zero and six kilolitres. Consumers who use more than 35kilolitres would be charged R768.64 on top of their municipal rates accounts.

Consumers in the 10.5 to 20 kilolitre and 20 to 35 kilolitre brackets would be charged R127.13 up from R100 (for the 10.5 to 20 bracket) in 2017/18, while the 20 to 35kilolitre bracket has decreased from R300.

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