Cape Town’s taps should have run dry this week, but the city has managed to dodge this deadline.
Day Zero was pushed back to 2019 after a steady decrease in water consumption, residents are now questioning the punitive water tariffs they’re being subjected to.
The City of Cape Town wants residents to pay up to 27 percent more for the water they use on top of the increases of over 100 percent that came with Level 6B water restrictions.
Residents say enough is enough and have handed Parliament a memorandum demanding the tariff be reviewed.
A household using 6000 litres of water monthly last year this time, was paying R28.50. Under level 6B water restrictions they now pay R179.
The additional tariff will raise that number to R227 but the city maintains the tariff increase is necessary.”
City of Cape Town spokesperson, Xanthea Limberg explained, “A year ago we were selling close to 900 million litres of water daily, now that has been reduced to below 500 million litres. That equates to a R2-billion loss in revenue.”
The money is being used to maintain services provided, Limberg says.
Tariffs associated with water restrictions can still be scaled back, as they depend on water availability.
“If we reduce the level of water restriction, we also reduce the tariff. If we go back to level 4 water restrictions we will go back to level 4 tariffs, which means the cost of water will decline,” Limberg said.
Meanwhile, the first desalination plant in the city likely to be in use this month is the one at the V&A Waterfront. It’s expected to add 2 million litres to the city’s water supply.