Water meter concerns put to rest

2015-04-29 14:22

At a recent meeting, Manenberg residents expressed concerns about water meters being installed in the area.

The residents feared the meters would result in excessive water bills and a hefty increase in their rental stock rates.

However the City of Cape Town says the residents have misunderstood and the meters should not cause concern.

Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, Ernest Sonnenberg told People’s Post the meters are there to monitor residents’ usage.

“The water meters [being installed in Manenberg] are Water Management Devices, which allow the City to limit the availability of water to the residents based on their ability to pay.

“This helps residents avoid stacking up arrears that they will not be able to repay,” Sonnenberg says.

Tariffs by which residents are charged are formulated in order to recoup the cost of providing water to Cape Town such as maintaining pipes, water treatment and operation of pumping stations, Sonnenberg continues.

“If residents are unable to pay, it places the reliability of our water supply at risk,” he says.

Sonnenberg also cautions that not all new water meters installed in areas of Cape Town are water management devices.

This forms part of the City’s strategy to ensure water security in a water-scarce region.

He also advises that these water meters do not affect what the resident is charged for water use.

“Domestic consumers are charged using a sliding scale, or stepped tariff,” he says.

The 2014/15 tariffs for full domestic – stand-alone houses – are priced for use above six kilo-litres (kF).

The first zero to six kF are free.

This is followed by an additional R9.98c per kF between six and 10.5 kF, R14.30c per kF between 10.5 and 20 kF, R21.18c for every kF between 20 and 35 kF, R26.16c for every kF between 35 and 50 kF and R34.50c for every kF used above 50 kF.

In other words, the first six kF used in a month are free and the 4.5 kF after that are billed at R9.98 per kF.

“Residents registered as indigent on the City’s database are allocated an additional 4.5 kF free per month and residents who would like to see if they qualify for these benefits are advised to please contact their nearest municipal office,” Sonnenberg says

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