Political parties slam proposed drought charge
Cape Town - Major political parties in the Western Cape lambasted the City of Cape Town over proposed water levy with the African National Congress (ANC) saying that the levy is a punishment to Capetonians.
Cape Town residents have up until Monday to make submissions on the proposed water levy.
ANC leader in the council‚ Xolani Sotashe said: “The people of Cape Town cannot be punished for the recklessness of the DA administration. The DA knew 10 years ago that we will have a water crisis now,”
There were serious suggestions then on what needs to be done including the augmentation schemes and also draw water coming from table mountain and be directed to be used. The DA decided to ignore all those suggestions that were made back then,” said Sotashe.
The proposed water levy will see residential properties valued from R400 000 and commercial properties valued from R50 000 pay more for water.
A home valued at R600 000 would pay a monthly drought charge of R35, while a home valued at R50 million would pay R2 800.
Commercial properties valued at R500 000 would pay R60 a month, while one valued at R500 million would have to pay R56 000 monthly.
Opposition parties have however accused Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille of failing to prioritise water crisis in the city.
Sotashe said the DA government cannot blame national government for failing to put in place measures to counter the day zero, where taps across the city will run dry.
“They can’t blame national government for this, because national government has been coming to the fore to help them in terms of support. They gave the City financial resources to support them. The minister of water and sanitation came to the City of Cape Town and signed an agreement on what needs to happen,” said Sotashe.
The City of Cape Town has received a total of R20 million as contribution to the Table Mountain Aquifer Project.
The City spokesperson Zara Nicholson said to fund the capital costs of the first phase of the water resilience programme, the City has developed a funding strategy which has been approved by Council on 5 December 2017.
She said the funding strategy includes concessionary loan funding and an application for grant funding from the Green Climate Fund. Council has also agreed to the implementation of a possible drought charge subject the authority of the National Minister of Finance. Final consideration will be when tabling the 17/18 financial years Adjustments Budget, end of January 2018.
The Economic Freedom Fighters have called for the nationalisation of all water resources in the province and abolishing of corporate water control.
Provincial Chairperson Bernard Joseph said: “We contend that this crisis is not political and should not be used in this way. For the sake of our people we need to rise above party politics and take hands towards a successful resolution of this crisis. The above suggestions are minuscule in comparison to the wealth of information held by ordinary citizens. Let us use our most precious resource, our people to save our people,”
Joseph said the DA led government has failed to execute their constitutional mandate which is "to predict, plan, research and deal with crisis like the water one,"
Politics and Development Bureau