Civic group backs call to cut water tariff

The government repealed all water restrictions on the Western Cape after the province’s dams were found to be 88% full at the start of September.

The Goodwood Ratepayers and Residents Association is backing a call by civic group Stop COCT for the City to reduce water tariffs and scrap the pipe tax.

“Our dams have been at 100% for a few weeks now with the good rainfall we experienced,” said the association’s chairman Faizel Petersen.

“The City has cleverly renamed water restriction level 3 to level 1, yet we are effectively still paying level 3 costs,” he said in an email to members.

The City, like most businesses, should revise its budget and review its large staff component to generate revenue without further burdening struggling ratepayers, he said.

Stop COCT’s Sandra Dickson said: “The entire tariff system, restriction levels and pipe charge should be revised, and proper public participation and input should be incorporated into the new structure.”

Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for water and waste, said the city council would meet at the end of the month to consider whether water tariffs should be lowered.

“Residents are reminded that any decisions related to water tariffs and restrictions going forward will be mindful of residents’ praiseworthy relationship with water, and the City will seek to find an arrangement most beneficial to residents, and one that is sustainable for our water security,” she said.

The national Department of Water and Sanitation said government had repealed all water restrictions on the Western Cape after the province’s dams had been found to be 88% full at the start of September.

Department spokesman Sputnik Ratau said that with significantly better rainfall seasons over 2018, 2019 and 2020 the system had improved such that it was no longer under severe stress. “And the reserve storage that was gradually depleted over the last five years has been recharged,” said Mr Ratau.

The City has previously said revenue from tariffs were being used when maintaining an 11 500km water network, 9 500km sewer infrastructure, 5600km of stormwater pipelines, 490 wastewater pump stations and 23 waste water treatment works.