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Outa: Public participation process in proposed CT drought charge unfair

If approved, ratepayers can expect to pay a bit extra on top of their current municipal rates, dependent on their property value.

FILE: Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille seen on Sunday, 3 December 2017, as the city installed water management devices at properties amid a drought. Picture: @PatriciaDeLille/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) is arguing that the public participation process for the City of Cape Town's proposed drought charge is unfair.

The city is awaiting the go-ahead from Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, following Council's approval earlier this month.

If approved, ratepayers can expect to pay a bit extra on top of their current municipal rates, dependent on their property value.

But Outa has written a letter to the city, declaring the levy as "illegal."

Outa's Julius Kleynhans disagrees with the city's reasoning that the levy will go towards recouping one billion rand needed for water infrastructure projects.

“That’s not a Constitutional obligation, it’s the Department of Water and Sanitation to provide water to various institutions of water boards. The city is only there to assure and ensure the water quality and quality infrastructure.”

Kleynhans adds that the public participation process, which ends on 12 January, should take place from 15 January to 15 February to ensure proper public input.

“The public participation in December period when everyone is on holiday is also completely unacceptable.

“We’ve seen in the past everyone uses this as a tough tactic to get dodgy deals through and we don’t believe that this is the proper way to do it.”