City of CT mulls reducing proposed drought levy following outcry

The public has already railed against a drought charge with an unprecedented number of more than 60,000 comments received.

Picture: Pixabay.com

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town is considering reducing its proposed drought levy, but it wants to raise water tariffs to target high consumption users.

The proposals are due to be discussed at a council meeting on Friday.

The public has already railed against a drought charge with an unprecedented number of more than 60,000 comments received.

The city says that if it doesn't introduce the charge through property rates, water tariff increases would be too high.

The municipality says it's facing a R1.7 billion deficit as a result of water restrictions.

And it's already introduced austerity measures such as limited travelling and attendance at conferences, as well as freezing vacancies and curbing overtime.

So far it's managed to raise R2.6 billion through a reprioritisation of its budget to fund water related expenditure.

Council is now to consider reducing the property rates charge from 10 to 8%, for residential properties valued at R400,000 or more.

This will result in the city raking in R80 million less than anticipated.

But the city says if it doesn't increase property rates, water tariff increases would amount to over 30% for the lowest level users.

Under level six restrictions, tariffs will be punitive for households using more than 50 litres of water per person per day.