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The City of Cape Town reminds residents that due to hot weather, an extended billing period, and the Level 2 water restriction tariffs, many may notice a spike in their water bills this month. We would also like to assure all residential customers that the Accounts Department has made allowance for the longer billing period. Residents are not being penalised in terms of the higher steps of the tariff, which are being applied correctly. 

In light of the recent enquiries and social media posts on the subject, the City of Cape Town would like to remind residents that increased water and sanitation tariffs have been implemented since 1 January 2016 as part of water restrictions.

For an average domestic customer, the differences in price are as follows:

Steps Unit Level 1 (10% reduction) Level 2 (20% reduction)
Step 1 (0 < 6 kl) Per kl R0 R0
Step 2 (>6 < 10,5 kl) Per kl R11,07 R11,66
Step 3 (>10,5 < 20 kl) Per kl R15,87 R18,24
Step 4 (>20 < 35 kl) Per kl R23,51 R29,75
Step 5 (>35 < 50 kl) Per kl R29,03 R45,40
Step 6 (>50 kl) Per kl R38,30 R85,09

Due to the current climatic conditions, it is very important that we are prudent with our consumption of the water we have available and so it is necessary to achieve a 10% reduction in our overall usage. In order to achieve this, all residents need to adhere to the Level 2 water restrictions, as has been communicated through the mediums of print, radio, and social media as well as through education and awareness teams on the ground. Hand in hand with the City’s responsibility to alert residents to shortages in water supply, is its mandate to maintain, replace, upgrade and increase infrastructure – functions for which the City requires revenue. These tariffs are designed to be approximately revenue-neutral when applied to the 10% reduced consumption levels.

The tariff is designed so that the price per kilolitre of water goes up once the resident’s use for the month exceeds certain levels. For example:

  • the first 6 kl (Step 1) is free
  • after usage exceeds 6 kl, but before usage reaches 10,5 kl for the month (Step 2), each kilolitre will cost R11,66/kl
  • after usage exceeds 10,5 kl, but before usage reaches 20 kl for the month (Step 3), each kilolitre will cost R18,24/kl
  • after usage exceeds 20 kl, but before usage exceeds 35 kl for the month (Step 4), each kilolitre will cost R29,75/kl, and so forth

If a customer is on the Domestic cluster tariff (flats/complexes supplied by a single meter), the Commercial tariff, the Backyarder tariff, the Industrial tariff, or any of the other specialised tariffs, they should please consult this table to see how they will be affected:

Sanitation charges will also be affected because, in terms of residential customers, these charges are calculated as being 70% of total water used on the property up to a maximum of 35 kl.

The City has also received enquiries with regard to longer billing periods over December/January, with customers expressing concern that because of the stepped tariff structure, this has resulted in an unfair distortion of their accounts. The City would like to assure residents that this is not the case.

Monthly accounts for water and sanitation are based on the daily average consumption for the reading period, i.e. the allocation into the different steps is a function of the daily average and the number of days (i.e. the longer period will therefore not penalise the customer in terms of the higher usage categories). By way of example, indicating that an increased period will lead to increased allocation into tariff steps:

  • Step 1 over 20 days = 6kl * 12 months = 72 kl / 366 days = 0,1967 kl per day * 20 days = 3,93 kl
  • Step 1 over 30 days = 6kl * 12 months = 72 kl / 366 days = 0,1967 kl per day * 30 days = 5,9 kl
  • Step 1 over 42 days = 6kl * 12 months = 72 kl / 366 days = 0.1967 kl per day * 40 days = 7,87 kl

The rest of the steps will work on the same principle.

‘I would like to thank those residents who are doing their bit to save water and urge other residents to follow their example. As we enter what many scientists predict will be an extended period of limited rainfall, it is crucially important that all residents save every drop they can to make sure that our reserves last,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, Councillor Ernest Sonnenberg.

Residents with further questions can consult the following link The link is also accessible from a tab on the City’s homepage.

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