When the drought levy / water tax was first announced by the City of Cape Town, Capetonians were up in arms: everyone, even those who had been stringent with their water usage, were now going to have to pay an extra R8,21 / day.
Unfair, no? Indeed – but get a load of this.
Mayor Patricia de Lille just announced that the city council is replacing the levy with “a punitive charge for anyone who use more than 50 litres of water a day,” reports Time LIVE.
Yup – instead of the daily limit of 87 litres, the City has now stipulated a new 50-litre limit in an effort to achieve a “city-wide consumption target of 450 million litres a day”.
De Lille told a news conference:
“We can no longer ask people to stop wasting water. We must force them.”
And that’s only the half of it. Households who use more than 6 000 litres a month will be paying a hefty fine. If you’re unsure where your water usage stands, use this app to find out.
Here are the proposed costs:
And then, for those of you who are high consumers, this is what you will have to pay:
De Lille’s campaign carried on:
“I will personally fight to ensue that the proposed punitive tariff exempts those (households) who are using less than 6‚000 litres per month.
“On the punitive tariff‚ provision will be made for households larger than four people to ensure that they are not unfairly penalised.
“In terms of the drought charge‚ it is likely to be dropped after massive outcry from Capetonians that it was unfair. I understand that response and it has personally been a tough lesson for the city.”
De Lille said the result of dropping the drought charge was that “we are now going to have to make deep cuts to important projects”.
The new limit will take effect on February 1 under the new level 6b water restrictions, imposed to “make up for the many months of missing the 500 million-litre-a-day target”‚ she said. It will be in place for 150 days, after which the City will reassess.
“Level 6b will also limit irrigation using boreholes and wellpoints.”
Leaving the briefing without answering any questions, these are the key points:
The CBD will be excluded from the ‘Day Zero’ water shutdown to ensure the economy keeps going, said Mayco member Xanthea Limberg.
We’re in for a rough ride, guys. Let’s be civil about it.
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