Rising costs

Pat Collocott, Sunningdale

I have now written to the mayor during September and October and have not been favoured with a reply.

My concern is that we the ratepayers are being ripped off wholesale, and, because we are all so rich, we are just keeping quiet about it.

The table is for exactly the same service, ie.
rates and taxes, water, refuse and sanitation
as charged at my home, and compares year-on-year monthly accounts paid. You will notice it started at 25% in May and has very quickly jumped up to 76% by September.

I am sure I am not the only one as on Facebook a number of others have also noticed a considerable percentage increase in the monthly bill.

I wonder if the readers of Tabletalk jointly would be willing to submit a petition demanding the figures be decreased to within the published inflation rate of 4.5% per annum.

None of us is likely to pay more for the identical product. We do realise that the City has rising costs, but it is not paying 76% more for salaries, water or refuse removal; that is for sure.

Mayco member for informal settlements, water and waste services and energy, Xanthia Limberg, responds:

The City has looked into this account and found that the main reason for the increases to his account is due to the increases in the price of water due to the recent drought.

The City is required to increase the price of water during times of reduced consumption,
as the cost of maintaining and operating the
water-supply system remains the same no matter how much water is used.

Failing to adjust water tariffs to compensate for the loss of income on water sales would otherwise affect maintenance programmes and lead to increased water losses that Cape Town cannot afford.

The City therefore sets a number of different water tariffs each financial year
for various levels of water consumption in case water restrictions need to be implemented.

Now that we have received some decent rainfall, the City is looking to provide further relief to consumers (after tariffs were reduced from Level 6B to Level 5 earlier in October).

However, water restrictions imposed on us by the national Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) remain in place for the moment. We have appealed to DWS to lower restrictions and to bring the associated financial relief to customers, and are hopeful that a decision will be communicated soon.

This would mean that the City’s customers will be able to use more water, allowing the City to further reduce the price per kilolitre.

Navigating our way through the most intense and protracted drought in recorded history has not been easy, and we thank the many residents who made such admirable efforts to save water
and see us through
the past two years without running out
of water.

Residents can view the City’s water and sanitation tariffs associated with the various restriction levels by visiting www.capetown.gov.za and searching for tariffs.