DA executive shoots down party's own drought levy proposal

accreditation
Patricia de Lille (Gallo Images)
Patricia de Lille (Gallo Images)

Cape Town – DA councillors should vote against the City of Cape Town's proposed drought levy, the DA Cape metro executive said on Wednesday afternoon. 

The levy, which will be tabled by the city's council for consideration at the end of January, was proposed by the city's DA-run administration at a council meeting on December 5. 

The DA controls 66% of the city's council seats. 

In a statement criticising Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille, DA Cape metro chairperson Grant Twigg said the drought levy proposal would create "an undue burden on ratepayers".

"We (the Cape metro executive) are of the opinion that the city should reprioritise its budget as well as actively and robustly engage the national government on the needs of the city, as water sourcing is their core competency," Twigg said. 

"The City of Cape Town is facing unprecedented obstacles currently and requires strong leadership to ensure we overcome them.

"Politically we believe these decisions are in the best interest of residents, who we believe should always be at the centre of our actions."

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA), which previously called the charge "illegal", welcomed the city's "apparent about-turn".

R1.7bn budget deficit predicted

"We believe the public should [however] continue to file submissions in terms of the city's public consultation process which closes on 15 January," the organisation said in a statement. 

Meanwhile, De Lille maintained that the drought charge was necessary to bridge the city's revenue deficit resulting from residents' water-saving efforts. 

She said the city was projected to incur a budget deficit in the region of R1.7bn for the 2017/18 financial year. 

"Without this vital income, the city will not be able to undertake the basic operations required to provide water and sanitation services to the people of Cape Town," De Lille said in a statement on Thursday afternoon. 

The drought charge will be a temporary additional charge based on existing property valuations, subject to approval by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. 

The city did not answer questions from News24 directly relating to the majority party's opposition to the proposal. 

The DA's criticism of its own proposed drought levy is the latest sign in ongoing tension in the city's caucus. 

After Twigg called for De Lille's removal on Wednesday, De Lille hit back saying there was a "rush" to dispense with her to make way for DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela. 

On Wednesday afternoon, the party's federal executive chairperson, James Selfe, criticised DA members for "ventilating their thoughts" about De Lille through the media.

DA spokesperson Phumzile Van Damme said the party would not comment on the ongoing tension in the city until the party's federal executive meets on Sunday. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
The EFF has voted with the DA to ensure they now govern Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni. Was this:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
A brilliant strategic move by the DA not to make formal coalition agreements
24% - 1917 votes
A brilliant strategic move by the EFF to force the DA to negotiate with them
16% - 1300 votes
A recipe for disaster and five more years of unstable local government
60% - 4765 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.19
-1.4%
Rand - Pound
21.58
+0.6%
Rand - Euro
18.33
+0.5%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.57
+0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.14
+0.8%
Gold
1,792.01
-0.0%
Silver
23.16
+0.1%
Palladium
1,751.49
0.0%
Platinum
955.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
72.72
-11.6%
Top 40
62,411
-2.6%
All Share
68,615
-2.8%
Resource 10
64,074
-2.5%
Industrial 25
92,909
-1.3%
Financial 15
12,995
-6.8%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE