File image: Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille. IOL.

CAPE TOWN - The revenue shortfall caused by water saving measures has come at a cost to Cape Town residents. The City hopes to recover its R1.6 billion loss in revenue with the proposed water levy. 

Despite water-saving tactics, Cape Town's drought crisis continues to plummet at an alarming rate. 

In efforts to save the city's crisis, water saving projects have been piloted which caused a revenue shortfall. 

Mayor Patricia de Lille last month proposed a drought levy to compensate for the revenue shortfall. 

De Lille gave residents until next Monday, January 15 to respond to the drought levy which is said to cost households an additional fee of between R47 and R150 per month. 

The proposed tax could affect over 450 000 households which will fund various water augmentation projects. 

The Mayor tried to assure residents that although 464 216 households would be affected, only 11% of these households would pay more than R150 per month. 

“People are using less water now and even though people are using less water, we still have to maintain and repair our reticulation system, and therefore money is needed,” said De Lille.

Day Zero has been brought forward to April 22, 2018 due to high usage. Dams are sitting at a dire 29.7% with only 19.7% of which is deemed usable. 

Poor management of the water crisis has been observed in the agricultural sector. 

“It did come to our attention that some of the [agricultural users] were drawing more water than what they should. The minister [of the Department of Water and Sanitation] responded about two days ago to say that National will up the enforcement of restrictions on agriculture and also on the City of Cape Town,” said De Lille.

The mayor said that the city is working closely with the Department of Water and Sanitation and that “it's not going to be helpful just to blame” during a crisis.

“You need to give the people of the city of Cape Town hope, and show leadership … we have to, as the City of Cape Town, also take responsibility to make sure that we bring on the necessary augmentation of water,” said De Lille. 

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