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‘Drought charge’ receives nearly 60 000 comments

By Isabelle Coetzee

Capetonians have until midnight to comment on the drought charge, which may be implemented for three years from 1 February.

In a statement last week, mayor Patricia de Lille pointed out that, “We need to raise money to pay for these [water augmentation] projects and, more importantly, to maintain our water reticulation system.”

The current water augmentation projects include desalination plants at Strandfontein, Monwabisi, and Cape Town Harbour, as well as ground water projects at the Cape Flats and Atlantis. 

De Lille added that, “To [pay for this as well as maintenance on the current systems], we have proposed the drought charge and invited public comment.”

According to mayoral committee member of finance, councillor Johan van der Merwe, approximately 59 100 comments were received by 12:00 today.  

 With 54% of residents using less than the ceiling-amount of 87 litres of water per day, the City requires an annual R1 billion for three years to make up for lost revenue.  

Expected tariffs

The proposed tariffs will depend on the value of each property, as well as whether it’s a commercial or residential property.

Residents can expect an average monthly charge of R73 and, of the affected 707 814 residences, only 52 519 will be required to pay more than R150 per month.

However, a residential and commercial property respectively valued at under R400 000 and R50 000, won’t be subject to the proposed drought charges.

Above this baseline, which starts at R25 for residential properties and R10 for commercial properties, Capetonians can expect to pay R2 800 for residential properties valued at R50 million and R56 000 for commercial properties valued at R500 million.  

These tariffs will be compulsory, and it will be subject to annual increases. However, vulnerable people, like pensioners, will be protected from these tariffs.  

Would you like to have your say about this? Send your comments to drought.charge@capetown.gov.za before midnight tonight.

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