Water tariff increase on cards

2010-01-29 00:00

RATEPAYERS struggling with electricity tariffs will have to adjust their budgets even further in the future as increased water tariffs are on the cards.

At yesterday’s executive committee meeting, it was stated that the city’s current water supply will not be able to meet demand by 2013, as the city is growing substantially.

To address this need, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) has proposed that the Spring Grove Dam be constructed in Rosetta.

Those supplied by the uMngeni system, such as the eThekwini and Msunduzi municipalities as well as other stakeholders, were asked by DWAF to commit to construction as far back as 2005.

Acting municipal manager for infrastructure service Thokozani Maseko said: “The construction of the Spring Grove Dam will have financial implications for the residents of Msunduzi through increased tariffs to redeem the incurred capital and operating costs of the project.”

The estimated cost of the project is R1,3 billion.

Maseko said that while the construction of the dam has been in limbo for a while, its construction is not negotiable as the municipality has to be able to provide residents with a sustainable water supply.

“The cost implications will be passed on to residents. The impact on tariffs at this stage is not known,” he said.

Although there will be no financial implications for residents while construction is taking place, the financial impact will be felt once the project is completed, said Maseko.

He said construction will end in August 2013.

ANC councillor Gerrit Meyer said it is vital that the municipality support the construction, as the current capacity of dams will not fulfil future needs.

Democratic Alliance councillor Rodger Ashe agreed, saying it will be money well spent.

ANC councillor Themba Zungu said the city needs to do more to conserve water. He said that ageing pipes, which contribute to water loss, are being replaced. He also made a plea for council to close all taps on roads, as taxi drivers “abuse this water and leave taps running”.

Msunduzi Mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo said proper facilities can be provided for the washing of taxis, for a fee.



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