The ANC is set to initiate a class action lawsuit against the City of Cape Town in desperate bid to force the City to scrap its water and electricity tariff hikes. Picture: Supplied
Cape Town - The ANC is set to initiate a class action lawsuit against the City of Cape Town in the Western Cape High Court next week in a desperate bid to force the City to scrap its water and electricity tariff increases.

Several hundred ratepayers have been slapped with mammoth municipal bills that have sparked widespread outrage. After the ANC Western Cape gave the City till 5pm on Wednesday to respond to its demand that the tariff increases and high bills be scrapped, party spokesperson Yonela Diko said lawyers had met “to finalise the drafting” of court papers.

ANC insiders said the party planned to collate several complaints it had received to formulate a class action lawsuit against the City.

Provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs said the ANC in the Western Cape was highly disturbed by the exorbitant water bills.

“These incorrect water readings are coupled with an unjustifiable 10% increase on water tariffs and a water device management system which punishes the poor through water restrictions once their limit has been exhausted.

“The acknowledged water crisis has been engineered by the DA government to create a Day Zero scarecrow which has led to this opportunistic and unethical restructuring of water tariffs for profiteering.

“The City also unilaterally increased water tariffs without public consultation, leading to mass public unrest in all communities.

“It is needless to say that the worst- affected are the poor and working class, as they are now at the receiving end of debt generated by an unscrupulous and incompetent DA- led city council,” Jacobs said.

But Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for water and informal settlements, said the City issued close to a million accounts a month.

“Although inaccurate billing is always regrettable, only a small percentage of accounts contain billing errors, usually less than 1%. The reason for many significantly higher water bills is likely due to underground leaks. These are the responsibility of private property owners to fix. However, customers may apply to the City for a rebate if there are mitigating circumstances,” she said.

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Cape Argus