Water bills - [http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2015/05/20/08/21D0AD2B00000578-0-image-m-12_1432108637409.jpg]

Is the City of Cape Town, among other municipalities, coining it amid the crippling drought?

According to the Western Cape financial performance report of municipalities in the first quarter of the 2017/18 financial year, the city has billed ratepayers for R835-million, against its R642-million expenditure.

This means the city could rake in R193-million over this period.

The report further estimates that by the end of the current financial year it may collect over R897-million.

It is not clear if the amount is an increase from the previous year. However, late last year the city reported increased water revenue due to charges on residents who had failed to comply with restrictions.

The city also stopped providing free water to indigent households as of July 1.

Cape Town is not alone. Three other Western Cape municipalities – Drakenstein, George and Stellenbosch – are also looking to collect a tidy sum from water.

Collectively, the municipalities have billed over R149-million, versus an expenditure of over R38-million.

This means that they are looking at a surplus of R111-million should they collect all the billed amounts.

Cape Town’s mayoral committee member responsible for water and sanitation, Xanthea Limberg, cautioned that the city was not making profits from water.

“There is a difference between billed and collection. So you might bill someone for a service, but might not recover the full cost, because they haven’t paid you.

“So, even though the billed amount might seem excessive, the collection rate might indicate that we didn’t collect that full amount,” said Limberg.

She said the City of Cape Town’s revenue collection rate declined to about 80% last year.