Following months of questions about the state of the City’s dams, the City of Cape Town has announced plans to lower water restrictions and tariffs from Level 6B to Level 5 come October 1 this year.
In a statement released on Monday morning, deputy executive mayor Ian Neilson said the lowering of the restrictions follows an increase in average dam levels, which currently stands at 68 per cent. The City’s dams stood at 38 per cent this time last year.
The increase in dam levels has been ascribed to good rainfall and conservation methods implemented by residents.
“This will bring tariff relief of between 26,6 per cent and 70 per cent per kilolitre of water depending on the usage and tariff category.
“The water usage target will be increased from 50 litres to 70 litres per person per day and the daily collective consumption target will increase by 50 million litres to 500 million litres to ensure that water conservation efforts remain in place,” Neilson stated.
What does Level 5 restrictions entail?
- An increase in the personal water use limit from 50 litres per person per day to 70 litres per person per day
- A resetting of the overall City water usage target from 450 million litres per day to 500 million litres per day
- A relaxation of restrictions for commercial and industrial water users from a 45% to a 40% usage reduction
- A lowering of tariffs to Level 5 tariffs
Residential tariffs (excluding VAT)
- 0 – 6 kL: Down 26,6% from R28,90/kL to R21,19/k
- 6 – 10,5 kL: Down 25% from R46/kL to R34,43/kL
- 10 – 35 kL : Down 56% from R120,27/kL to R52,39/kL
- Above 35 kL: Down 70% from R1 000/kL to R300/kL
Commercial and Industrial tariffs
- Down 18% from R45,75/kL to R37,50/kL
There is a similar reduction in sanitation tariffs.
Neilson said the City is hopeful that residents will continue conserving water.
“The relaxation of restrictions is a moderate proposal that is based on a hydrological risk assessment that indicates that it is safe to do so at the level of risk that is agreed upon. Of course, the amended Level 5 restriction guidelines for water usage will apply and we are confident that the significant behavioural change that we’ve seen pertaining to water conservation will prevail to a large extent.”
Neilson further defended the fact that the statement was issued under his name and not that of mayor Patricia de Lille.
“Council has delegated to me the responsibility of looking after the water situation back in January this year…I have now been issuing all of the statements of the water matter since then.
Meanwhile, this decision by the City to lower water restrictions has not been met without criticism.
“It took the City an awfully long time to listen to the people. It is actually mother nature that finally forced the city’s hand as a couple of dams are actually overflowing and our water is running into the sea. Which makes me think that the City would rather have water run into the sea than to listen to the people,” administrator of independent water awareness campaign Dear Cape Town, Sandra Dixon.