As the opportunity for the public to comment on the proposed water levy closes today, the provincial DA has submitted a formal objection to
DA provincial chairperson Anton Bredell said the party had made a formal submission to City manager Achmat Ebrahim stating their objection to the proposed water levy.
The proposed levy will come into effect on February 1, subject to approval from the minister of finance and council approval at the end of January. The funds would help to pay for the essential, yet expensive, projects to make new water available, such as increasing output from the Atlantis aquifer, accessing water from the Oranjezicht Main Springs and constructing desalination plants.
All current rebates for pensioners, the disabled or the indigent would remain intact.
The City says it will need to raise R1billion a year for three years to support water projects. The drought charge is based on a property’s value and is estimated at about 10% of the current municipal rates portion of a municipal account. The charge will affect owners of residential properties valued at more than R400 000 and business properties valued at more than R50 000.
“The DA Western Cape does not support placing residents under financial strain in an attempt to generate a greater income for drought disaster relief at the expense of our people. It would be unfair to add a water levy, with most residents already bearing the brunt of the country’s economic state we simply cannot expect them to pay more,” Bredell said.
The responsibility ultimately falls on the City’s leadership, political and administrative, to ensure the best possible outcome during this challenging period, Bredell added.
But Sandra Dickson of Stop COCT, a group of Cape Town residents that created a portal for the public to send their individual objections directly to the City, said that provincial government has been absent.
“We don’t see that the province is helping the City at all.”
Stop COCT has a live comment section on the portal, which already has amassed more then 54 000 comments.
“The number of people in favour of the charge I can count on one hand. And what has come through is that people are angry; they are not just saying ‘No’.
“This is a long-term problem and we don’t want a short-term Band Aid solution.”
Day Zero is predicted for April 22, with dam levels at an effective 19%. Day Zero will come when dam levels reach 13.5%. At this stage, residents will have to collect water daily from around 200 collection sites. Although some essential services will stay connected, almost all residential suburbs will be cut off.
The comments can be submitted to: [email protected]