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CT water tariff increase ‘not set in stone’

Ian Nielsen has explained under Level 6 restrictions, there'll possibly be an increase from R26 to R40 per kilolitre for the first six kilolitres a month.

Members of Save Water and Stop COCT express their concerns about the City of Cape Town’s water and electricity tariff proposals. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Cape Town’s Deputy Mayor has emphasised a proposed more than 50% increase for water use isn't set in stone.

Ian Nielsen has explained under Level 6 restrictions, there'll possibly be an increase from R26 to R40 per kilolitre for the first six kilolitres a month. This boils down to over 50%.

“We are looking at rephrasing some of the work in that Water Department, so we can bring down that overall requirement of 27%. We are focusing very strongly on whatever savings we can achieve to bring down that particular tariff.”

The often quoted 26.9% proposed hike in water tariffs in the city’s draft budget only applies to the use of non-potable water.

Level 6 water restrictions came into effect on 1 January this year. The Western Cape is in the midst of the worst drought in decades. Insufficient rain and rapidly declining dam levels have led the Western Cape to the brink of crisis.

With tighter water curbs in place, residents have been asked not to exceed the use of 50 litres of water per person day in Cape Town.

Last week, University of Cape Town climatologist Dr Peter Johnson said there's a strong chance of below average rainfall this year.

April's rainfall level is a dipstick of sorts for what we can expect for the rest of winter.

“Based on the rainfall so far measured at the stations, it doesn’t look likely that we’ll get above normal rainfall. There’s a 5% chance of it being above normal.”

LISTEN: #DayZero: The science behind weather forecasting

Additional reporting by Shamiela Fisher.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)