High water increases on the cards

The City of Cape Town’s draft budget, which has been tabled for public comment, proposes pulling the plug on some households’ monthly 6 kilolitre allocation of free water.

The budget was presented by the City’s mayoral committee member for area north, Suzette Little, at the Kraaifontein civic centre on Thursday April 6.

This is the City’s first draft budget in line with its Organisational Development and Transformation Plan (ODTP), which seeks to address the legacy of apartheid.

According to the draft budget, only properties with a value of R400 000 or less would get the first 6 kilolitres of water free.

Likewise, only properties valued at R400 000 or under would get their first 4.2 kilolitres of water for sanitation a month for free.

Those not qualifying for indigent assistance will instead pay R4/ a kilolitre (excluding VAT) for the first 6 kilolitres of water and R3.85/ a kilolitre (excluding VAT) for the first 4.2 kilolitres of water used for sanitation.

Meanwhile, low to medium water consumers — those using less than 50 kilolitres a month — will pay up to 7.33% more for water but those using more than 50 kilolitres a month will pay 19.19% more.

The City has allocated R5.7 billion of its R44.3 billion budget for area north, the bulk of which will go towards informal settlements, water and waste services, energy and transport and urban development authority.

A large chunk of the budget has been set aside for further development in Fisantekraal with R10 million going towards phase two of the Garden Cities housing project; R11 million will be spent on bulk earthworks for Greenville and Fisantekraal and R4.7 million for a new clinic.

Work completed and projects in progress for the 2016/2017 financial year include: Garden Cities phase one, the upgrading of the Klipheuwel mobile clinic, the Morningstar housing development, upgrading of Durbanville CBD and Pampoenkraal Lane in Ward 112.

The first 11 Garden Cities RDP houses were handed over to beneficiaries on March 17 last year (“Home sweet home,” Northern News March 24 2016), and 27 houses will be handed over at the end of this month.

The City’s proposed rates and tariff structure for this period is as follows:

A 5% increase for rates – down from 6 percent last year.

A 3.34% increase for electricity – down from 7.78% last year.

Refuse removal to increase by 6.51% – down from 7.92% last year.

Waste disposal to increase by 8.32% – down from 12.08% last year.

The total cost of the social package for the 2017/2018 financial year is about R2.7 billion, which is up from R 2.5 billion last year. Indigent relief for the most vulnerable has been increased from R1.1 billion to R1.3 billion. Rates rebates worth R1.4 billion will be made available.

The proposed social package to assist in relieving some of the financial burden experienced by poor households is as follows:

Any household with a gross monthly income of R4 000 or less will get a 100% rates rebate.

For the indigent rates rebate for persons younger than 60, the maximum monthly household income is R6 000.

For the senior citizen and disabled person rates rebate, maximum monthly household income is R15 000.

60 kWh of electricity free of charge per month per household for those using less than 250 kWh per month.

25 kWh of electricity free of charge per month per household for those using more than 250 kWh but less than 450 kWh per month on average with a property value of R400 000 or less.

Waste removal: consumers whose properties are valued under R400 000 receive rebates between 0 percent and 100%.

All submissions to your local sub-council office must be made by no later than 4.30pm on Friday April 21. Once the public participation process is completed and public input is considered, it is only then taken to council for debate and adoption in May.

“We are making a concerted effort to connect with our ratepayers and residents as it is incredibly important that they scrutinise the draft budget and provide us with their comments for consideration,” said mayoral committee member for finance Johan van der Merwe in a statement.