City of Cape Town relaxes water restrictions

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Cape Town – City of Cape Town deputy mayor, Ian Neilson, announced that water restrictions will be changed from Level 6B to Level 5 from the start of October.

Neilson said that this decision was made following the 70% storage capacity of Cape Town’s dams. This is an improvement from the 38% storage capacity it was at a year ago. Neilson further explained that the water-saving behaviour from citizens and the City’s management programmes are what made this easing of restrictions possible.

Level 5 restrictions will allow citizens to increase their personal water use to 70l per day. The City’s water usage target will increase from 450 million litres per day to 500 million litres per day. The following changes in residential tariffs will be implemented:

0 – 6 kL: Down from R28.90/kL to R21,19 kL

6 – 10,5 kL: Down from R46/kL to R34,43/kL

10 – 35 kL: Down from R120,27 to R52,39/kL

Above 34k L: Down from R1 000/kL to R300/kL

Commercial and industrial tariffs will be decreased from R45,75/kL to R37,50/kL.

The ANC’s Cobus Grobler has filed papers to the provincial High Court to appeal for the tariffs to be assessed. This comes after the party has been approached by residents who expressed that their access to a necessity has been restricted. Many Capetonians said that they feel dehumanised by the City as they have been warned of their resources being cut off, received notices from the City’s legal representatives and been threatened with being blacklisted with credit providers.

Mayco member for water and waste services Xanthea Limberg said that the increase was necessary due to the impact of the drought. Limberg says that it was needed to ensure dam levels were kept at a certain capacity and that water services could be monitored. Furthermore, it is reported by Limberg that prior to the increase, the City subsidised the tariffs but the tariffs were needed in order to fund projects to increase the water supply. Limberg has assured that the tariffs will decrease by a large amount, but will still be kept at a rate aligned with the funds needed for water delivery.

CEO of Wesgro Tim Harris says that the relaxation of restrictions will encourage investment in business and tourism in Cape Town. He says that it sends out a message that the City has a firm grip over the management of water and is once again a travel-friendly destination.

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