By Wardah Wilkinson
Despite The City of Cape Town emphasizing the urgent need to introduce a drought charge in order to fund future water projects, the charge is being challenged by many. Currently the city is losing R1.6 billion in revenue due to reduced water consumption.
The deadline for public participation for the proposed drought charge has been extended to 15 January. There has been about 45,000 comments have been received on the levy thus far.
Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance’s Representative Philip Bam says, “The city should look at alternative methods with funding, if funding is required. We do not know how the levy is going to be used for. We view this as punishment for those who are saving water.”
They are aware of all the revenue that the city is losing, but the problem with the levy is that it’s based on the property value and this is a valuation according to the city he says. “We have always stressed that the valuation is based on the value of the city not the actual of the property, we have always said this is faulty. As the computer doesn’t that the various areas issues in to account,” he explains.
“There are too many counsellors, they build new structures and offices, yet the city is oversubscribed with building. If the city believes they in a crisis they should cut their expenditure and limit the money they are spending. The amount of legal fees is tax money, which could be saved, as the municipal rates has increased over last 20 years, people can hardly afford to live in their own property,” said Bam.
“The Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance will submit our objections, the city was 15 years ago aware of the drought yet the city when out for tenders for water relief measures. They got 32 billion but never used that money, due to bad management,” he says.
“We believe it’s unnecessary, unwanted, discriminatory tax and the whole plan must be scraped, without water we don’t have food. An alternative must be found,” he ends.