The City has defended its 70% discount to water consumers using more than 35 kilolitres (kL) a day. Picture: Renee Moodie/File picture.
Cape Town - The City has defended its 70% discount to water consumers using more than 35 kilolitres (kL) a day and has reiterated that most consumers are not sticking to the 50 litres a day.

Mayoral committee member for water, waste and energy Xanthea Limberg said high consumption still came at a heavy punitive cost designed to discourage excessive use.

This comes after the City announced earlier this week that water restrictions and its associated tariffs would be relaxed as of October 1.

If you are saving water and using less than 6kL a month, you will be paying about R7.71 less a kilolitre, but if you are using more than 35kL you will pay R700 less per month per kilolitre.

The residential tariffs steps are:

0 - 6 kL: Down 26.6% from R28.90/kL to R21.19/kL.

6 - 10.5 kL: Down 25% from R46/kL to R34.43/kL.

10 - 35kL: Down 56% from R120.27/kL to R52.39/kL.

Above 35kL: Down 70% from R1000/kL to R300/kL.

Limberg said: “The nominal amounts of just over R21 per kilolitre at step one versus just over R52 at step three are indicative of a sustained cost-related effort to encourage residents to keep up water-saving efforts.”

Limberg said at Level 6 average households should have only consumed as in Step 1 (0-6kL).

“At Level 5, average households should consume only in step 1 and 2 (8.4kL for four people). Steps 3 and 4 tariffs are academic at the higher restriction levels and were set so high to serve as absolute deterrents to high water use. It is apparent most households, while making significant savings, have not managed to reduce to 50 litres per person (Level 6b).”

Stop COCT founder Sandra Dickson said the revenue the City was trying to rake in was becoming unsustainable for consumers.

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Cape Argus