Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille proposed a water tariff hike of 26.9% across the city, for the 2018/2019 financial year.

Presenting the City of Cape Town’s budget speech on Wednesday afternoon, De Lille said the tariffs are set annually to ensure the City can deliver the level of service required for its residents.

The proposed budget for the upcoming financial year will total R49.1 billion. Of this, R39.8 billion will go towards the City’s operating budget, with R92 billion allocated for capital expenditure.

The previous financial year’s budget was in the region of R6 billion.

R9.8 billion of the R49.1 billion budget has been earmarked for water and electricity bulk purchases from the Department of Water and Sanitation, as well as Eskom.

“The City’s Water and Sanitation Department is also proposing the introduction of a fixed charge for water. This will be based on the water meter size, as well as seven restriction level tariffs,” she said.

“The Electricity Department is also proposing moving domestic customers to the home user tariff where properties are valued at above R1 million as well as introducing a fixed service charge of R150 per month for these properties.”

Despite these steep increases, the City’s lower-income residents will have the blow softened if they qualify for the City’s rebate programme.

“There are many residents who struggle to make ends meet and, in assisting these residents, the City provides free basic services such as electricity, refuse removal, water, sanitation and rates rebates to residents who qualify,” De Lille said.

The basic social package rebates are based on property values, and are as follows:

  • Properties valued at R100 000 and below qualify for 100% rates and refuse removal rebates. These residents also receive 10 500 litres of free water and 7 350 litres of free sanitation.
  • In properties valued above R100 000 and below R150 000, these residents get a 100% rates rebate, 75% off refuse removal charges, 10 500 litres of free water and 7 350 litres of free sanitation.
  • Properties valued between R150 000 and R400 000 all receive 10 500 litres of free water, 7 350 litres of free sanitation and between 50% and 25% off their refuse removal charges.
  • There is also relief with electricity charges for consumers on the Lifeline tariff where consumption is, on average, 250 units per month, and these residents receive 60 units free per month.
  • Where consumption is between 250 and 450 units, these households will receive 25 units free each month.

“Apart from property value, the City also uses household income as a factor to determine which residents qualify for assistance,” said De Lille.

“For instance, where the gross monthly household income is R4 000 or below, these households can get 100% rates rebate and receive the same benefits as if their properties were valued below R100 000.”

De Lille said residents will have their say on the planned tariff hikes and welcomed comments on the proposed budget. Comments will be accepted until 19 April 2018. – www.capetownetc.com