Cape Town water restrictions to be lifted from 1 November, move to 'water-wise tariff'

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Cape Town mayor Dan Plato. Photo: Gallo Images
Cape Town mayor Dan Plato. Photo: Gallo Images
  • Water restrictions in Cape Town will be lifted on 1 November.
  • The City will move to a "water-wise tariff", which Mayor Dan Plato said had already been approved by the council.
  • According to the City of Cape Town, the decision to lift the water restrictions and lower tariffs were based on three key considerations.

Water restrictions in Cape Town will be lifted from 1 November with the City of Cape Town announcing the move to a "water-wise tariff".

This followed the mayoral committee unanimously supporting the City's decision for this move on Tuesday, which would also serve before the council for noting next week, it said in a statement.

Mayor Dan Plato said the tariff had already been approved by the council as part of a set of tariffs for the City's 2020/2021 budget.

According to the City, the decision to lift the water restrictions and lower tariffs were based on three key considerations: the national Department of Water and Sanitation's lifting of its restrictions applicable to the Western Cape Water Supply System of shared dams, of which Cape Town was one of the users; City projections indicating dams were unlikely to drop below 50% by next winter; and projections also indicating the latest anticipated water usage patterns for the coming summer would be sufficient to allow for the lowering of the tariffs.

"Based on the first 10 500 litres of water used plus 15mm, the average bill will be R411.99 on the no-restriction, water-wise tariff. This is compared to R785.38 under the Level 6B tariff at the peak of the drought," Plato said.

"The City's water tariff, like some other metros, has a usage and a fixed part and it forms the total water tariff that covers the cost of providing water. This includes the maintenance of infrastructure and making sure Cape Town is resilient by adding new sources to its water supply and becoming a water-sensitive city.

"The cost of providing the service remains largely the same regardless of how much or little water is used, or how full the dams are."

Those registered as indigent do not pay the fixed basic part of the water tariff and receive a free allocation of water monthly.

"This lowest tariff will offer residents some financial relief while ensuring we can still provide reliable water services and invest in new water sources. Tariffs are set to cover the cost of providing water and sanitation," he added.

"While we need to continue to be mindful of climate uncertainty, residents who feel comfortable enough can begin to relax water saving efforts in good conscience, while being water-wise due to the significant increase in dam levels.

"These anticipated movements in the warmer summer months have been factored into the latest anticipated usage patterns for lowering the tariffs from the current second lowest tariff level, to the lowest, no-restriction, water-wise tariff."

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