#WaterWatch

Big water users exiting the grid may mean less money in City coffers

Cape Town residents have until 4 May to comment on the City's proposed water 27% tariff hike - in addition to 7.2% rates hike and 8% increase in electricity tariffs.

The City wants to introduce a fixed service charge, meaning even if you have a borehole installed you will still pay R150 service charge which will come into effect on 1 July.

Melanie Rice, standing in for John Maythan, spoke to Executive Deputy Mayor of Cape Town, Alderman Ian Neilson about these fees.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille has requested that the proposed water tariff increase of almost 27% be reduced.

She says 24,900 comments have been received, 80% of which are objecting to proposed water and electricity hikes.

Read: CoCT justifies proposed tariff hikes

These are significant increases but we have tried to only target the tariffs we require to get the money we need.

Ian Nielsen, Deputy Executive Mayor of Cape Town

Those high tariffs are punitive, to severely discourage big water users.

Ian Nielsen, Deputy Executive Mayor of Cape Town

With the increased tariffs, many business and wealthy individuals are moving off the grid which means the city is losing even more money by increasing tariffs.

We certainly realise that the risks for us of big users going off the grid are real ... unfortunately there is a very large number of people who cannot afford to do that. The real risk is that we would lose significant income but still have to supply water to poor people.

Ian Nielsen, Deputy Executive Mayor of Cape Town

The main reason we are doing this is that even those who have drastically reduced their consumption still have the connection, still have the opportunity and access to water supplies and will still have to contribute to the maintenance of the water network.

Ian Nielsen, Deputy Executive Mayor of Cape Town

To hear the of the conversation with Ian Nielson, listen below:


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