The City of Cape Town has pushed back its estimate for "Day Zero," when taps in the city run dry and people start queuing for water, to 2019. Picture: Cindy Waxa/ANA

CAPE TOWN - The Cape Town City Council said on Monday, it would do away with plans for punitive water tariff increases of 55% for households who consume more than six kilolitres a month.

The new tariff increase for this consumption bracket will be 10.10%. 

Those who use more than six kilolitres but less than 10.10 kilolitres have been spared a planned 6.26% increase.  There will be no price increase for the moment for this level of water usage.

Acting mayor Ian Nielson said the decision followed a "careful and intense consideration of a record 40,000 comments" received in response to the proposed tariff schedule. The city has also adjusted the overall increase in the budget requirement of the department of water downwards from 26.96% to 19.9%. 

Cape Town and environs is experiencing the worst water shortage in living memory.

Residents were granted further reprieves in big cuts in planned tariff increases for sanitation. For the group that required less than 4.2 kilolitres per month, a tariff increase of 78.71% has been slashed to 9.87%, while no tariff increase will come into play for usage of between 4.2 kilolitres and 7.35 kilolitres per month.

Neilson also announced that a proposed increase in property rates has been lowered from 7.2% to 6.5%.

ALSO READ: Water tariff increases could be lower, says Neilson

African News Agency/ANA