Cape Town march against proposed water tariffs

Save Cape Town is calling for residents to make their voices heard on proposed water tariffs. Photo by Bernard Chiguvare

During her budget speech in March, Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille announced a rise in water tariffs to deal with the water crisis in Cape Town. With Day Zero being moved to next year, the City is adamant that the tariffs will ensure that they deliver the services at the required level.

About 35 people under the banner of Save Cape Town took to the streets to voice their concerns about proposed water tariffs for Cape Town. They handed over a memorandum to Parliament, the City of Cape Town and to the DA  Leader

This follows the announcement of a water tariff hike of 26.9% for 2018/19 by the Cape Town mayor in her budget speech last month. Mayor Patricia de Lille said the tariffs are set to ensure that the City deliver the required services to residents. 

But according to Judge Kruger from Save Cape Town, the hike will impact negatively on the poor as they will pay more than they can. The City will be holding public meetings and consultations with residents on the issue.

Save Cape Town is calling for the public to participate in the process. “Since 2009 public participation in what the City intends doing has been silent. Some residents of Cape Town may actually not be aware of what could be taking place at any time yet we are the people who voted them into power,” said Kruger, adding that if the City wants to have other sources of money it should slash its the salaries paid to top management and reduce the number of workers it employs.

Over and above the reduction of the cost of water, the organisation wants the City to receive national disaster funds for to invest in improving water security.

Speaking to Elitsha, Venetia Kruger a business woman from Parklands said that the tariffs are unaffordable to most Cape Townians. “What the City intends doing is disgraceful. Most people will not afford paying the proposed water tariffs if they are implemented. Life will be unaffordable for most people. Water is next to oxygen and it should be provided freely,” she said.

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One alternative source of fresh water, Kruger suggests, could be millions of litres of spring water that otherwise runs into the sea.

“Currently my water business bill is averagely R500 per month. If the City increases the tariffs it will be hard for me,” she said.

Paul Daniels from Kuilsriver told Elitsha that currently he is struggling to pay the water bill which is between R200 to R300 a month. An increase to him is like taking away the right to water from him and his family.

“I am a pensioner depending on pension money. The money is too little for my kid and my wife. I urge everyone to object to the tariff hike on this gift from God [water].”

Cape Town residents have until 4.30pm on 4 May to lodge their complaints or comment on the increases.

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