#WaterCrisis: Residents vent anger at water levy
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Many feel they are being punished for saving water during the worst drought the Cape has experienced in a century.
The City of Cape Town’s level 6 restrictions, which first came into effect on January 1 limit residential households to 10500 litres a month, but when residents first heard of tougher restrictions, they also heard about how the City of Cape Town wishes to implement a water levy.
The levy would see households paying between R45 and R60 extra every month as part of a drought levy. When mayor Patricia de Lille first presented the drought charge she said: “It will not be an excessive amount in relation to resident and businesses rates accounts. It is proposed that the drought charge is only applied to residential properties with a valuation of R400 000 and above,” she said.
It is proposed that a residential property with a valuation of R800 000 could pay a drought charge of R45 and for a property with a valuation of R1million, the proposed drought charge would be R60.
Comments and objections regarding the drought charge have been open since December 12 and close today.
At least one submission the Cape Argus obtained shows the frustration felt by a resident. “You knew about the problem years ago, you were warned by experts and no one listened,” the submission states.
“You have refused assistance from the private sector, I’ve read numerous articles from years ago with proposals and people willing to help. You just ignored them.
“I have been doing my bit to save water, so why should I be punished for your mistakes? And I know many people who have spent money of their own to help in water saving, myself included. Their water usage is very low through innovation, just as you asked people to do. So why are you punishing people who are doing their bit?”
The submission isn’t the only complaint over the drought charge, as action group STOP COCT has created a petition to oppose the charge.
As of Sunday, 35 362 comments and signatures had been logged.
“I am a 67-year-old single woman. I am still working in order to pay my own way and most probably will do so until the day I die. I just make ends meet and cannot afford another tax like the one you proposed,” wrote Sue Coelho.
“The saying is: ‘No good deed goes unpunished.’ It seems this is the case for those who make an effort to save as much water as possible.
“I cannot see why I must be punished for saving water as much as I can, whereas the blame is solely on the City of Cape Town for not planning ahead.”