Shocking rates should notbe water under the bridge

2018-05-08 06:00

Jasmine Uys’ letter of Tuesday 1 May refers (“New water, electricity rates a shock”, Peoples Post).

Much has been said about these increases and a lot will still be said.

So yes, electricity increasing? Shocking, isn’t it? Pun intended. Water tariffs on the rise? Again? Certainly not water under the bridge. Again pun intended. These topics will be under discussion for a long time still. And your and my input will be required.

Record your objection: you have a democratic right to do so.

So how does one save on electricity expense? Invest in solar? The initial capital outlay is exorbitant. Way too much for the majority of residents, I would imagine. And if you are fortunate enough to afford this, may the sun shine on you for years to come. But we are forgetting that the City of Cape Town will be even further down on revenue due to reduced sale of electricity. Time for another tariff hike or surcharge or levy or other pretty language they feel is necessary. Still shocking, isn’t it?

Investing in water saving led many to purchase water storage tanks. Rainwater harvesting is the thing to do. Not ideal in the time of drought with no rain but a start nevertheless with the potential of rain. Boreholes. Well points. Standing in queues collecting water at springs. Hold on! Someone is losing revenue due to water sales not being what it should. Of course, time for tariff hikes way, way beyond inflation. Why not punish people for saving? This City works for you?

The mayor then proudly and boastfully declares the installation of water management devices a success. Yes, thousands have been installed and many thousands still to be. How the installation of these devices and the actual privatisation of water can be considered an achievement, I really don’t know.

The mayor proudly is a champion of the poor and indigent by allowing for free basic services. That’s admirable. But what about the “not so rich” and “almost indigent” who were and still are responsible for building this city being ignored? But then, the slogan is “Making progress possible. Together”. Really?

Amid this, local councillors have been rather silent. With the exception of a few, I will admit. Of course, municipal election time will see many coming out of hibernation and promising to walk the extra mile. Let’s make a change with our votes. And if you don’t, you may hear “I told you so”.

Indeed, we live in interesting times.

Maghmood Allie Plumstead

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