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 City of Cape Town has received more than 37000 comments on the draft budget which is set to impact water tariffs.

The final proposed budget will be served before the council on May 30 and, should it be approved, the new tariffs will be implemented from July 1.

The proposed tariff changes are aimed at securing resources needed to handle water security challenges, said Cape Town acting mayor Ian Neilson.

“The overall proposed income increase for water is 27%, but that is differentiated across various tariffs. The 55% increase applies only to one step in one of the tariffs. The proposal for steps one and two of the tariff amounts to between R14.48 for step one and R2.88 for step two of the tariff.”

Indigent and destitute people are excluded from the proposed tariff increases.

However, he said the tariff increase could be lower than originally proposed based on the public participation process and the outcome of the council committees and caucuses that have been workshopping the budget proposals.

READ: City of Cape Town receives 37 000 comments on its tariff hikes

“It is now clear that a lower increase is likely in the final budget.

“While our daily demand has decreased by around 40% in the past year, operational costs have not decreased. To be resilient to future droughts, our tariff structure requires greater income certainty and better diversification which is not based on whether more or less water is being used.

“We are therefore also proposing fixed delivery charges for water. Most customers would not pay more than R100 (exclluding VAT) delivery charge for water. Indigent customers are exempt from this charge.”

But residents who say they have been doing their bit to reduce their water consumption feel that they are being punished by the proposed water tariff increases.

A Surrey Estate resident, Washielah Essack, said that even though her family were doing their best to save water and reuse grey water, the cost of water had already become too high.

“If the water goes up even farther, how are we going to cope?”

Weekend Argus