Ire over pipe levy

Thomas Bashall, Sunningdale

I enjoy reading your articles and only hope action is taken before the next holiday season comes around.

Please ask the Mayco member in charge of water affairs how much money has been taken from Cape Town residents for this pipe levy, what it is being used for (as I see or feel no benefit from it), and when will it be stopped.

My pipe levy is R100 a month.

Mayoral committee member for water and waste Xanthia Limberg responds:

The fixed basic charge was introduced to create stability in the tariff structure to ensure that reliable services can be provided. The cost to provide the water service remains largely the same regardless of the usage. Introducing a fixed basic charge, as part of the tariff, was aimed at making the tariff more resilient.

The fixed charge was aimed at addressing possible revenue shortfall in the future by ensuring that resources remain available to operate and maintain the water and sanitation networks even during periods of reduced water consumption.

A fixed charge also allows the City to keep the price per kilolitre of water lower than would otherwise be required to operate a sustainable and reliable water supply system.

An amount of R343 million was billed to residential customers for the supply of water via the fixed basic charge, up until end April 2019 for the 2018/19 financial year.

The benefit of this is tangible in the form of a continued and reliable supply of safe, clean water to residents via well-maintained infrastructure. The charge is related to the size of the service connection, which represents the loading factor on the system. Although water consumption over the last few months has remained on the conservative side, which is helping Cape Town through the drought recovery period by reducing the impact on the dams, we are not out of the woods yet.