The Mangaung Metro Municipality announced that consumers registered for an indigent policy will have to buy water when they exceed the daily limit of 330 litres water supply. The announcement made on Wednesday (27/06) is in line with the city council’s new financial year of 2018-’19, which started on Sunday (01/07). The municipality’s new financial term will see consumers not in the Mangaung Metro’s indigent policy pay more following tariff increases on services as approved by the council. Increases include a 7% tariff hike in rates and taxes for properties, an increase of 6,84% on electricity, an increase on water by 11,65%, sewage increases by 8,30%, refuse removal by 10,83% and an 10% increase on other general services.Qondile Khedama, spokesperson of the Mangaung Metro, said water meters installed for indigents distribute 330 litres daily for the duration of the month while the consumer is a registered indigent. He said a total of 44 750 indigents had been registered in this just-ended term of 2017-’18. “This figure however excludes indigents that only get free basic electricity services. The target is to register 65 953 indigents for the 2018-’19 financial year,” said Khedama.The policy caters for pensioners, the unemployed and child-headed families. The new three-year cycle for registration of indigents started on 1 July and runs until 30 June 2021. “The city encourages all residents who meet the criteria to apply for the new cycle. Consumers who had registered as indigents in the previous cycle are also requested to reapply for the new cycle,” said Khedama. He said only registered and approved indigents would qualify for this water subsidy as approved by council.The indigent policy criteria includes, among others, that the total monthly gross income of the registered owner or tenant and his or her spouse or life companion is not more than an amount as determined by council from time to time. “This amount will be determined at the beginning of every financial year and will be applied for the duration of that particular financial year. “Currently the income amount is deemed to be less or equal to the amount received by three state pensioners, as determined annually by the minister of finance,” explained Khedama.“All registered and approved indigents who have prepaid water meters installed will, in terms of the current indigent policy, receive a total of 10 kilolitres of subsidised water every month. “After the 330 litres have been distributed for the day, the valves of the meter will close. “If the indigents require more water, they will have to buy the additional water every day. Any use above the 10 kilolitres would still be the responsibility of the indigent user,” explain Khedama. Khedama has strongly warned against illegal connections and meter tempering. “Penalties of more than R50 000 can be imposed for the destruction of meters and illegal connections.” He said during the first quarter of the year, the Mangaung Metro authority engaged the public on the status of the prepaid water meters project in the city’s jurisdiction.