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. 


2 comments to Shocking increase to Water and Sanitation charges

  • Fabian

    I have just been given a water and sewage bill on an excel spread sheet. My water for June is R650,00 and my sewage R550,00 I am renting a flat in Oakglen, Belleville, my landlord says this is the amount but for may I paid R177,00. Is water and sewage charged separate and how come is my water way above my electricity. Please help me? I feel I am being a victim her. I need clarity, if need be I wil send the excel sheet.

  • Michael

    Proposed fixed tariff on water and electricity – implementing a fixed tariff that is unrelated to usage by a household is unfair, non-sensical and punitive. Tariffs should reflect the amount of services used and not be a punitive fixed charge due to revenue loss as a result of households being more efficient in their use of water and electricity. This is particularly so given the increasing number of households that have and are planning to go “offgrid” by using alternative water and energy supplies to be more eco friendly and effecient. The water and electricity providers would be able to at the very least maintain their revenue streams had they not be embroiled in corruption and procurement anomalies not to mention concentrating on the significant amount of water and electricity lost due to seepage as a result of poor maintenance and historical under investment in the entire water and energy network. The council is proposing property rates increases which together with these punitive fixed charge water and electricity rates will place an undue burden on already struggling households where wages have not kept pace with inflation. I suggest that the service providers look to becoming more efficient themselves to reduce their own costs of providing an ineffective service, before trying to recoup ever increasing costs from households who are using less and less of an ineffectual service.

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