Shocking increase to Water and Sanitation charges


On the 19th January at a special council meeting, the Water and Sanitation Level 5, 6 and 7 consumptive restrictions tariff for the 2017/18 financial year, as set out in Annexures A1 to F1 to a report on the agenda, were approved.

There were two sets of Annexures tabled at this meeting. (1) Level 5, 6 and 7 consumptive restrictions tariffs, if a proposed ‘Drought Levy’ linked to property valuations was approved and (2) if the levy was not approved. After substantial objection from the public (over 61,000 comments received by the city) the proposal for the levy was scrapped.

There were substantial tariff increases proposed on top of the proposed levy so it was never an either the levy OR punitive tariff increase situation, it was from the outset intended to be BOTH a levy and punitive tariff increases. The only difference between the (with levy tariff schedule) and the (without levy tariff schedule) is a further 25% increase to one level of tariff, namely Step 1 (0 – 6kl) for both water and sewerage.

Bearing in mind that this level of consumer, using between 1kl and 6kl per month are at the very heart of the water saving efforts, it is absolutely shocking that these water saving champions have been targeted for punitive tariff increases in the region of 500%, far more than any other consumptive level when you add water and sewerage increases together.

To note, on the 18th December, the day before these new tariffs were tabled, there was a media release from the city titled ‘Day Zero now likely to happen – new emergency measures’. While everyone was nervously reading through this before unheard of pronouncement, the mayor slipped in a clue to what was about to be tabled.. “I will personally fight to ensure that the proposed punitive tariff exempts those who are using less than 6 000 litres per month.” Well anybody who is up to speed on the goings on in council will know what happened at the following day’s meeting. 

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