PRESS RELEASE – DEAR CAPE TOWN
The City of Cape Town draft Budget for 2018/19 will leave you out of pocket
The City of Cape Town tabled its proposed budget for 2018/19 on Wednesday 28 March 2018. The Mayor, Patricia de Lille, wrote these words on the document when she signed the draft budget:
“All public representatives must lead the public participation process and explain the proposed tariff increases.”
The Activist group, STOP COCT, acted immediately and the www.dearcapetown.co.za/coct-budget/ website was updated to receive the public’s comments and route them to the City of Cape Town supplied email address for Public Participation. The website was launched on Friday evening and to date more than 8 000 comments were received. This makes it clear how upset the people of Cape Town are about the tariff increases proposed in this Budget. This number of comments is extraordinary, taking into account that it is Easter weekend.
STOP COCT will ensure that the City of Cape Town does not violate the PAJA Act and misuse this Public Participation Process to pass this budget. The City of Cape Town, in the form of the mayor, is calling for “all representatives to lead this public participation process.” STOP COCT will not allow it to be an inconvenient tick box on the City’s way to approve this one sided and unfair budget.
If approved, the asked for increase for water is 26.96%. Effective from 1 July 2018.
The already steep Level 6bwater tariff increases instituted on 1 February 2018 will now grow by another 26.96%. The current Level 6b increases represented a 500% plus increase in water tariffs. These new increases effective from 1 July 2018 will add a further 83% increase to your water bill.
Added to this steep increase is a levy starting at R56 per month based on the size of the pipe delivering water to homes. This levy is stepped up in increments based on the diameter of your supplying water pipe. A pipe of 15mm attracts a levy of R56 up to a maximum sized pipe of 300mm which will attract a levy of R2 500. This is a stark reminder of the Drought Charge based on Property values which was rejected by the public in January this year
If approved, the asked increase is 26.96%. This increase is instituted whilst the current method of calculating of sewerage bills is grossly unfair. Generally the sewerage bill is calculated at 70% of water consumption. Water saving efforts reduced the amount of sewerage going to the municipality drastically by the reuse of grey water gardens. It is therefore difficult to justify that 70% of our water ends up in the sewerage system.
If approved, the asked for increase in electricity tariffs are 8.14%. This is almost 3% higher than the approved NERSA increases awarded earlier this year. In addition to this, a flat levy of R150 per month is added to accounts for properties worth more than R1 million. This represents a 150% increase electricity accounts. This is disguised by a small discount in the electricity tariff for Home Users. We are of the opinion that this discount may not remain the case over time.
PROPERTY RATE TARIFFS
If approved the Rates will increase by 7,2%. This is substantially above the current annual inflation rate of around 4.4%.
If approved, the Refuse will increase by 5,7%. This is also above the current annual inflation rate of around 4.4%
With the help of the public the dearcapetown.co.za website has sent 61 002 comments to the City of Cape Town during the Public Participation Process in December for the Drought Charge resulting in the Drought Charge to be scrapped by the City Council.
It is therefore crucial to promulgate the mayor’s call for the city’s representatives to explain these tariff increases to the public. STOP COCT urges the public to familiarise themselves with this Draft Budget and what these tariff increase and levies will mean to them come 1 July 2018.
Visit https://www.dearcapetown.co.za/coct-budget/ and enter your comments there. The City of Cape Town needs to hear from every member of the public affected by these increases.
The City of Cape Town has asked for your input on the 2018/19 draft budget. Please use the form at the link to add your name, comment or suggestion.