The City of Cape Town has warned residents that their February water and sanitation accounts will reflect the new punitive tariffs which came into effect at the start of the month in a bid to drive down consumption.
The new tariffs were designed to encourage the usage of 50 litres of water per person, per day, per new water restrictions, the City of Cape Town said on Tuesday, as it continues its bid to stretch the city’s water resources as far as possible to avoid taps running dry.
Cape Town deputy mayor Ian Neilson said: “We find ourselves in a truly unprecedented situation and, as a City, we have had to make some incredibly difficult choices. It must be emphasised that all water and sanitation revenue from the tariff increases goes toward water and sanitation services. The tariffs are linked to usage. The more you use, the more you pay.
The City added that it does not make a profit on water sales. “We will still cover the cost of basic water for our indigent residents, but for the rest of our water users these tariff increases are unavoidable. The highest users will face the greatest increases.”
Day Zero, the day Cape Town’s taps are to run dry, was on Monday moved to May 11, from April 16, this due to a decline in agricultural use. There has been a decline in urban usage but not at a very sufficient scale the City said.
“All Capetonians must therefore endeavour to use no more than 50 litres per person per day to help stretch our dwindling supplies through summer. We trust that the tariff increases will serve as deterrent against high usage. As a City, we are required to keep within the allocation as set by the National Department of Water and Sanitation. We are not there yet,” Neilson said.
The City said the cost of water (total monthly bill at Level 6 tariffs and including VAT) for a non-indigent person would be:
— R179.58 for 6 kilolitres
— R415.56 for 10.5 kl
— R1,555.56 for 20 kl
— R6,685.56 for 35 kl
— and R20,365.56 for 50 kl.
Efforts by the city to supplement its water supply, however, continues as work on various desalination plants are underway.
Work is proceeding on the Monwabisi, Strandfontein, V&A Waterfront, and the Cape Town Harbour desalination plants, the Atlantis and Cape Flats Aquifer projects; and the Zandvliet water recycling project which will collectively produce an additional 196 million litres per day as they come on stream between February and July 2018.
“The City thanks our residents for their major efforts over the past year to reduce their water consumption. Unfortunately, we still have to reduce consumption further to ensure that we do not run out of water,” Neilson added.