Activist group to oppose City’s budget

Patricia de Lille File photo: INLSA

Activist group Stop City of Cape Town (Stop COCT) say they will not allow the public participation process on the draft budget to be used as “an inconvenient tick box” on the City of Cape Town’s way to approve what they call a “one sided and unfair” budget.

Mayor Patricia de Lille tabled the proposed budget for 2018/19 during a full sitting of council on Wednesday March 28.

Ms De Lille’s speech included a list of new municipal charges including a 26.9% water increase and a R5 billion cash injection into informal settlements, water and waste services.

Ms De Lille urged residents to have their say and submit comments. The closing date for public comment is Friday May 4.

Last week Stop COCT updated its website after the mayor’s speech to receive the public’s comments and submit it to the City. Since Friday March 30 just under 10 000 comments have been received.

In a press release by Stop COCT, the group says the number of comments are extraordinary, taking into consideration that it was Easter weekend. “Stop COCT will ensure the City of Cape Town does not violate the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act and misuse this public participation to pass the budget,” read the statement.

Brackenfell resident, Sandra Dickson, one of the founders of Stop COCT, said if the water tariff is approved the already steep Level 6B water tariff increases will grow by another 26.96%.

“The current Level 6B increases represented a 500% plus increase in water tariffs. These new increases effective from July 1 this year will add a further 83% increase to your water bill. Added to this steep increase is a levy starting at R56 a month based on the size of the pipe delivering water to homes. This levy is stepped up in increments based on the diameter of your supplying water pipe.

“A pipe of 15mm attracts a levy of R56 up to a maximum sized pipe of 300mm which will attract a levy of R2 500. This is a stark reminder of the drought charge based on property values which was rejected by the public in January this year,” said Ms Dickson.