Opposition to drought levy surges

water meter

A Cape Town website, www.dearcapetown.co.za, has collected 52 378 comments on the proposed water surcharge which the City of Cape Town intends to implement. This surcharge is based on property values. Residents of Cape Town have until Monday to comment on the surcharge – which Mayor Patricia de Lille says is not a tax or a levy

The website reported a number of new comments. A certain Beverley writes on Friday 12 January: “No for drought tariff, it’s not fair and democratic.” Shaid wrote: “As an obedient citizen we as a family use our tap water only to wash, Our water usage came down to 1000kl per month. I think it would be unfair to pay drought fees because that will be more than our water usage per month.”

Najwa wrote: “It think it is unjust and unfair to increase the water to the value of the property. In all fairness the person who saves the most should pay less. What about the people who waste on the flats… what about the townships where they have car washes? And here we are saving and recycling water… this is unfair.”

The comments go on in this way……

Significantly,  Democratic Alliance city councillor and DA metro leader Grant Twigge has come out against the surcharge – indicating that the council’s DA caucus, which represents 66 percent of voters in the city, is not ‘at one’ over the new fiscal mechanism.

It is widely known that the DA provincial government ministers also oppose the surcharge.

The City of Cape Town has in the most recent utility bill sent out a “Drought charge to help us avoid Day Zero” leaflet. It reports that the charge will be imposed on homes worth R400 000 and above. It will start with a suggested drought charge of R25 for residential properties, but rise to R2 8000 for properties worth more than R50 million.

For commercial properties, the surcharge will start at properties worth R50 000 and above. Levies will start at R10 but rise to R56 000 for commercial properties worth more than R500 milliion.

Mayor Patricia de Lille acknowledged that any surcharge needs to be given the approval of the national finance minister Malusi Gigaba. He has not as yet given it the nod.

Mayor de Lille reported on Tuesday that 45 000 comments had been received by the city on the drought levy proposal. She could not indicate how many favoured the plan, or how many did not.

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