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Cape Town residents can expect to pay less for water after the City of Cape Town agreed to lift water restrictions and move to the lowest tariff next month.

City Mayor Dan Plato expressed thanks to all the City’s water partners, residents, councillors and communities for getting Cape Town through the worst drought and recovery period it has faced to date.

Plato said, “The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee (Mayco) unanimously supported the City’s decision to lift water restrictions in Cape Town and to move to the lowest tariff, being the no restriction, water-wise tariff from 1 November 2020.”

The matter had been tabled at a meeting on Tuesday and will be served before Council for noting next week.

A statement from the City explains that the decision is based on 3 key considerations.

  • The National Department of Water and Sanitation’s (DWS) lifting of its restrictions applicable to the Western Cape Water Supply  System (WCWSS) of shared dams, of which Cape Town is one of the users. Overall, the WCWSS dam levels reached 100%.
  • City projections indicating dams are unlikely to drop below 50% by next winter. The lifting of all restriction measures, except for existing water regulations permanently in place due to the proactive management of water resources, will allow for water-wise usage, in line with the lowest tariff, which is slightly lower than the current, second lowest tariff level.
  • City projections also indicating the latest anticipated water usage patterns for the coming summer will be sufficient to allow the lowering of water and sanitation tariffs from the second lowest tariff to the lowest, no restriction water-wise tariff level. These tariffs are already part of the Council-approved budget for the 2020/21 financial year, which followed due process including a public participation process.”

“We are happy to support the decision. We have come full circle in this vital partnership that saw Team Cape Town get through the drought. Apart from the dams filling up to capacity and beyond in recent weeks, this is another moment to be celebrated,” he said.

Despite the lifting of restrictions, Plato encouraged residents to remain water-wise.

“We are situated in a water-scarce region so we will always need to ensure we are sustainable and future-fit. While we need to continue to be mindful of climate uncertainty, residents who feel comfortable enough can begin to relax water saving efforts in good conscience, while being water-wise, due to the significant increase in dam levels.”

City’s mayco member for Water and Waste, Xanthea Limberg, said the City will continue to implement cost-saving, water-wise plans and encourage residents to be water smart.

“What our residents may not know is that City water costs on average 4c per litre in comparison to approximately R10 per litre for shop-bought bottled water. Thank you Team Cape Town for using water responsibly and also for paying your water and sanitation accounts, which contributes to providing and maintaining a sustainable, reliable water service for all,” Limberg said.

For more information about the no restrictions ‘water-wise’ restriction level and the permanent regulations that still apply, please visit: http://www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater or Think Water

More information about the City’s Water Strategy can be found here: CoCT Water Strategy

Journalist with a passion for people. Strives to be lekke. Motto: Eats gatsby one bite at a time.