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While the total proposed budget of R49.1 billion for the upcoming financial year includes much needed services like broadband infrastructure, installations of CCTV cameras, upgrading sports and recreation facilities, electrification and roadworks among others, ratepayers will have to dig deep in their pockets for municipal services if the budget is approved.
During the tabling of the budget for the 2018/19 financial year on Wednesday March 28, Mayor Patricia de Lille indicated that R39.8 billion of the R49.1 billion would be allocated for the operating budget and R9.2 billion for capital expenditure.
She proposed several increases including rates by 7.2%, electricity by 8.1%, 26.9% for sanitation and 5.7% for refuse.
In addition, the City wants ratepayers to pay a fixed charge for water, based on the water meter size as well as seven restriction level tariffs while the electricity department is proposing moving domestic customers to the home user tariff where properties are valued at above R1 million as well as introducing a fixed service charge of R150 a month for the properties.
She allocated R9.8 billion for bulk purchases of water and electricity from the Department of Water and Sanitation and Eskom and R5 billion for informal settlements, water and waste services – which is 54% of the capital budget and R1.7 billion for transport and urban development and R1.1 billion for energy.
The proposed tariff increases for the financial year is set annually to enable the City to deliver the level of services required by ratepayers.
Mayor De Lille said she was aware that there were many residents who struggled to make ends meet and to help those residents, the City provided free basic services such as electricity, refuse removal, water, sanitation and rates rebates to residents who qualified.
The basic social package rebates, which are based on property values, are as follows:
* Properties valued at R100 000 and below qualify for 100% rates and refuse removal rebates. These residents also receive 10 500 litres of free water and 7 350 litres of free sanitation.
* Where properties are valued above R100 000 and below R150 000, residents get a 100% rates rebate, 75% off refuse removal charges, 10 500 litres of free water and 7 350 litres of free sanitation.
* Properties valued between R150 000 and R400 000 all receive 10 500 litres of free water, 7 350 litres of free sanitation and between 50% and 25% off their refuse removal charges.
* There is also relief with electricity charges for consumers on the Lifeline tariff where consumption is on average 250 units a month, and these residents receive 60 units free a month.
* Where consumption is between 250 and 450 units, these households will receive 25 units free each month.
Apart from property value, the City uses household income as a factor to determine which residents qualify for assistance. Households with a gross monthly income of R4 000 or below can get a 100% rates rebate and receive the same benefits as if their properties were valued below R100 000.
A total of R910.5 million has been allocated to area south, which includes R29.6 million for electrification in various areas, R75 million for the Cape Flats wastewater treatment works refurbishment and R15 million for the Masiphumelele taxi rank. In its objection to the proposed increases, the Fish Hoek Valley Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association (FHVRRA) said the proposed rates increase of 7.2% and refuse tariff increase of 5.7%, were significantly higher than the current annual inflation rate of around 4.4%.
The proposed electricity municipal tariff (R1.8289/kWh) increase is 8.14%, on top of Eskom’s upcoming 30% increase. The City will be moving domestic customers (R1.6115 / kWh) to the home user tarrif, where property value is above R1 million and a fixed monthly service charge of R150 is to be introduced.
This is down from the proposed R219 amount for 2017/18 and electricity rates will be adjusted to compensate. The FHVRRA added that instead of the water usage and linked sanitation service fee being under-recovered in the normal 2% to 7% range, water is under-recovered by 27% as water usage is down by 20%.
The association indicated that the linked sanitation service fee was only 14% under-recovered yet, both charges would increase by 26.96% to 30.45% (depending upon source). This is on top of the recent tariff increase.
The FHVRRA urges ratepayers to attend the public participation process on Monday April 16, at 6pm, at the Fish Hoek Civic Centre.
The closing dates for comments on the proposed budget, is Friday May 4, at 4.30pm.
* Activist group Stop City of Cape Town (StopCoCT) is leading a protest march in the city centre tomorrow, Friday April 13, from Daling Street, meeting at 10am.
Published at https://www.falsebayecho.co.za/news/city-budget-increases-in-spotlight-14392621
Mitchell’s Plain community organisations say residents cannot afford the proposed municipal tariff increases, tabled in the City of Cape Town’s proposed budget for 2018/19.
Mayor Patricia de Lille proposed, during a full sitting of council on Wednesday March 28, that residents fork out significantly more for municipal services. If the proposed budget for the upcoming financial year is approved, there will be a 26.9% water tariff increase, a 7.2% rates hike, electricity costs will increase by 8.1%, sanitation by 26.9% and refuse removal by 5.7%.
In addition to the increases, the City wants ratepayers to pay a fixed charge for water based on their water meter size as well as Level 7 restriction tariffs.
William Simmers, fondly known as Uncle Willie from the Mitchell’s Plain Community Advice and Development Project (MPCADP), said residents needed to pay for food, transport, school fees and uniforms.
“We strongly object to the proposed council tariff increases,” he said.
“We will stand by the community of Mitchell’s Plain to prevent these increases.”
Norman Jantjes, chairman of the Mitchell’s Plain United Residents’ Association (MURA), encouraged residents to support and join campaigns opposing the tariff increases which he said were “unjustified” and would put residents further below the breadline.
Mr Jantjes said they would be supporting the Save Cape Town initiative, which would be marching on Friday April 13 at 10am, from 10 Darling Street in the Cape Town CBD.
The Water Crisis Coalition, an umbrella body of several civic bodies, will be opposing the tariff increases with a petition.
Mr Jantjes said Mitchell’s Plain already had quite a few issues, including a high unemployment rate, several people living off social grants and many people, who worked, but lived below the breadline.
Mr Jantjes said queues at loan companies were testament to people being unable to cover basic costs. “Every month they are back in that queue, increasing their debt,” he said, adding that while annual increases were expected, these were way above inflation.
He said Mitchell’s Plain residents were being punished because rich people could afford alternate water and electricity saving devices, like boreholes and tanks.
“In addition to Level 6B water restrictions, now residents will have to fork out more money to cover their water and sanitation bill. We are saying that these increases are not justified and is totally unaffordable for the average Mitchell’s Plain resident,” he said.
Mr Jantjes said the City’s evaluation system is flawed.
He cited the example of someone, who bought a house in Mitchell’s Plain a few years ago at about R75 000, but now it was valued at R500 000.
“The rates increases – these charges are linked to the value of the property and not to the family’s income. This then further increases the burden on ratepayers,” he said.
He said this was why indigent grant applicants were often unsuccessful, because the evaluation of their application was based on the value of their houses.
Mr Jantjes encouraged residents to join local civic organisations to apply pressure on local councillors and the municipality.
He invited residents to attend a Western Cape legislature outreach programme at the Nelson Mandela family and youth community centre at 2pm today, Wednesday April 11.
The proposed budget for the upcoming financial year is R49.1 billion, with R39.8 billion on the operating budget and R9.2 billion for capital expenditure. The mayor has earmarked R9.8 billion for water and electricity bulk purchases from the Department of Water and Sanitation and Eskom, while R5 billion has been allocated to informal settlements, water and waste services, which is 54.9% of the capital budget, R1.7 billion for transport and urban development and R1.1 billion for energy.
Domestic customers will be moved to a home user tariff and those with a property valued at more than R1 million will have to fork out a R150 service charge.
“In terms of the proposed tariff increases for the upcoming financial year, the tariffs are set annually to ensure that the City can deliver the level of services required by our residents,” Ms De Lille said in a statement.
The mayor encouraged residents to take part in the public comment process, which closes on Friday May 4.
Cape Town - The City’s proposal to increase water and sanitation tariffs by 26.9% has been met with an avalanche of outrage set to culminate in a protest march where thousands of residents are expected.
Several groups have voiced their outrage at the City’s proposed increase in municipal charges. Punitive charges for water and sanitation have also increased and if the proposed R49billion budget is to be approved electricity consumers will pay a flat R150 rate before using any electricity.
Sandra Dickson, founder of the STOP COCT group, said the increases have not been justified and puts the pressure on water-saving residents. Dickson and other activists have also established a website portal that receives and collates comments on the proposed budget. So far, more 17000 have commented on the budget.
“A total of 99% of the comments are really bad. There is a clear frustration from all residents across the city. It is really unjustified for people to pay so much money for the failure of the government; it is immoral,” Dickson said.“
There are people who have spent millions of rand on water-saving measures. There are also people sitting with massive rates accounts that they cannot pay. It is so wrong; we cannot allow the City to abuse the ratepayers like this. By law, the City has to consider the comments we hand over to them. People are fed up with the City and residents will have to stand together,” she said.
Anne Smith, a member of the group, said a protest march for Friday has been approved. “We have applied for 3000 people, but only on the day of the protest will we know what the outcomes are. We are having the protest on Friday 13th and we hope there is very little luck for the City and their plans,” she said.
Charmen Gribi, a community activist from Elsies River, said the community supports a protest against the increase in municipal services tariffs.
“The residents of Cape Town were never consulted over this budget. If there was consultation it was very poorly done. They should have gone to residents first and ask for comments on the impact of tariff increases. We are already paying extra VAT, but we cannot pay more for the most essential services. That is just inhumane. There are people who simply cannot afford it and the City appears to simply not care,” Gribi said.
Philipp Bam, secretary of the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance, has said they will be opposing the tariff increases using the provided channels.
Yonela Diko, ANC provincial spokesperson, said: “The ANC will always support civic groups and issues that affect hard-working ratepayers. We are fully behind the groups as we believe the City’s proposed budget is anti-poor and borders on consumer abuse,” he said.
Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said the City will face more resistance as the water issue is a massive crisis.
Mayoral committee member for finance Johan van der Merwe said the comment period for the 2018/19 draft budget is underway. “We welcome constructive and reasonable comments and peaceful legal gatherings.”
Residents have until May 4 to comment.
posted at https://www.iol.co.za/capeargus/news/angry-cape-residents-to-march-against-proposed-tariffs-rise-14346808
Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR) rescued a female tourist in her early thirties who had slipped and fell 10 meters, near the chains on Lion’s Head, sustaining moderate injuries to her back and ankles, on Saturday March 31.
WSAR spokesperson Johann Marais explained that after they had received a request for assistance around 8.38am, paramedics and a rescue operator rushed to the aid of the patient.
“They reached the patient by 9.35am and after the examination (by paramedics) there was a request that the helicopter contracted to the Department of Health be authorised to extract the patient.”
Paramedics were able to stabilise the woman while they awaited a stretcher and she was then airlifted by Skymed to the base of Lion’s Head.
Robert Daniels, spokesperson for Emergency Medical Services(EMS), said while the woman had not been badly injured, she had sustained two sprained ankles and pain in the lower back.
“She was not badly injured but had to be airlifted as a safety precaution due to pain in her lower back. She was then taken to the Lion’s Head base and was taken to hospital in a private car,” Mr Daniels said.
Bo-Kaap residents are still in shock that the historic Noon Gun Tearoom and Restaurant on Signal Hill was allowed to be demolished last month.
Jacky Poking, spokeswoman for Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers’ Association (BKCRA), told Atlantic Sun that residents have accused the association of “not doing enough” to stop the demolition as the Noon Gun Tearoom and Restaurant held heritage status.
The tearoom and restaurant had also been the home of the Misbach family for 70 years before they decided to sell it.
Ms Poking said the BKCRA had received an email from Heritage Western Cape in 2017, telling them of the planned demolition and the association had sent out notices to the community, giving them an opportunity to have their say.
Residents had handed in submissions, which included an ethnography of the area’s people, customs and cultures, as part of the public participation process which was to be submitted to Heritage Western Cape.
However, Ms Poking said the deadline for the public participation process had been missed as it fell during the holy month of Ramadaan.
AtlanticSunpreviously quoted Heritage Western Cape’s chief executive officer, Mxolisi Dlamuka, confirming that the Noon Gun Tearoom did, in fact, have heritage significance as it had been built more than 60 years ago and had, in the 1980s, along with other Bo-Kaap homes, served as a hide-out for anti-apartheid activists (“New plans for heritage site”, Atlantic Sun, November 10 2016). Heritage Western Cape did not respond to a query sent by the Atlantic Sun this time.
Shireen Misbach, who was born on the property in 1952, was a tour guide for the Bo-kaap area and in 1995 she and her mother, Mariam Misbach started the tearoom and restaurant.
She said the tour would always end in the backyard of the Noon Gun property so that’s how the idea of the tearoom and restaurant came about.
Ms Misbach said her parents had lived in the house for 70 years before selling the property.
She said she is not upset that the property had been demolished but hoped that the builders would incorporate parts of the old building into the new, such as the pillars on the outside or building around the facade.
She added that she enjoyed her childhood as many families in Bo-Kaap would gather at their home on weekends and her great-grandfather, Abdullah Harris would be their entertainment.
“We would have braais, he organised the watermelon festivals and even hung a Christmas tree for all neighbours that were Christian.”
Labiebah Wiener, granddaughter of Mr Harris, was unaware that the demolition process had begun. She was emotional when niece Fayrooz Asad showed her a picture of what the area currently looks like.
“I am very sad that the house was broken down like that, it is terrible. All my life I had lived there in the mountain, now there is no more mountain, no more house, nothing.”
The new owner of the property, Cape Town designer, Gail Behr, seemed taken aback when Atlantic Sun contacted her. She said the building had been put on the open market by Mr and Ms Misbach and they had no problem with having the house demolished.
Ms Behr said: “I discovered an old and rather unremarkable set of concrete stairs that must have once led up to the original ‘stoep’ buried beneath the slapstick additions and have retained these plus some old pillars which will be repurposed on the stoep that we will be building in the place identical to where the original stoep must have once stood proud.”
When asked about what would be built in place of the Noon Gun Tearoom, she said: “A bone-achingly pretty building with a real front stoep, antique windows and doors that we have sourced and are remarkably beautiful.”
Mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, Brett Herron, said a demolition permit was issued in February this year and no new building plan application has been submitted yet.
While the comment period in the public participation process for the renaming of the Little Glen in 1st Crescent, Camps Bay, had ended on March 31, Camps Bay Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (CBRRA) has come under attack by some residents for not seeing efforts to upgrade and maintain the reserve as a community effort.
The CBRRA had submitted the proposal to the City of Cape Town in 2015 to honour the late Arthur Shephard for all his hard work and efforts for the Little Glen by having the name changed to Arthur Shephard Little Glen Nature Reserve (“Renaming planned”, November 30 2017, Atlantic Sun).
Atlantic Sun is in possession of a barrage of emails from residents who have expressed their concerns around having the Little Glen Playground renamed, especially after a single person. Many of the residents feel that a bench or flower bed should rather be named in Mr Shephard’s honour.
Community volunteer Michele Harvey, who has been involved in many projects in the Camps Bay community, including bringing schools in the area to Little Glen as well as being involved with the 1st Camps Bay Scouts Group for 14 years, said she is not against the hard work Mr Shephard had put into Little Glen but that the idea of having the whole area renamed after him does not sit well. “Many people have worked in this Glen. The principle is, you cannot hurt those people who have worked here before us, you cannot suggest there won’t be people after us. He (Mr Shephard) was magnificent but why change the name.”
She showed the Atlantic Sun the scout clubhouse in the Little Glen and explained that it had been built over a hundred years ago and was donated by the Ward-Cox family. She said: “ So, if we were to start naming people it would then be like a speech at a wedding.”
Ms Harvey said the CBRRA does not represent the wider civic and school organisations who she said have removed themselves from the CBBRA meetings as a result of “frustration, misrepresentation, personal agendas and pet projects, poor communication and past performance”. “For this reason dissemination of relevant community information through CBBRA as a channel cannot be regarded as effective or sufficient to be regarded as due process.”
Terry Chicken, who also keeps his hand on maintaining the Little Glen, had worked closely with Mr Shephard and said that the renaming of the Little Glen is not something that Mr Shephard would have wanted, rather he would have appreciate it if people would continue keeping the grounds in a good condition.
Bernard Schäfer, the chairperson of Camps Bay Community Police Forum (CBCPF), said in an email the CBCPF held a discussion during its full forum meeting at the time and the decision was unanimously agreed upon to not support the renaming of the Little Glen for various reasons.
“The Little Glen Project was not the brainchild of one person, nor was it achieved or financed by one person – on the contrary it was a CBCPF project that was a truly community-based and community-supported project that was made possible by many individuals. For this reason the CBCPF felt (and I echo those sentiments personally) that it would not be fitting to rename the Little Glen after one person, irrespective of how great or appreciated his individual role may have been.
“We feel that keeping the name neutral in its original form is best. We do, however, feel that if Arthur’s contribution should be memorialised in some special way we fully support the idea of a memorial object (bench, tree, table bearing a remembrance plaque etc) in addition even a memorial garden bearing his name. The obvious choice would be the fantastic garden he created almost single-handedly on the land outside of the Little Glen but between 1st Crescent and Finchley Road. This land has no name yet (and therefore does not fall foul to the renaming saga) and a memorial sign could be erected detailing Arthur’s full contribution to the area as a whole including this area and reference to the Little Glen and his special contribution to that ongoing project. Alternatively a memorial garden area within the Little Glen itself.
“These options would be something unique that would bear Arthur’s name and only his name, rather than having a long clumsy sharing of names to try and reach compromise on the difficult task of renaming the Little Glen as a whole.”
Chris Willemse, chairperson at the CBRRA, said one of the major problems that some had with the proposal is that the Little Glen name should not change. “The CBCRA agrees with this but submits that the name is not actually changing but merely getting an honorific before it as the Arthur Shephard Little Glen.
“Unfortunately, a small grouping, which is very anti the CBCRA for their own narrow interests, has also entered the matter and will do whatever to stop this initiative. This is most unfortunate as this is a sensitive issue and certainly not the forum to pursue agendas.”
He said the CBRRA has valid points that have been raised by many who are not in favour of having the playground renamed but feel it is fitting to honour and remember Mr Shephard in this way.
“Another point raised is that many individuals and organisations have put much effort into the maintenance and upgrades of the Little Glen over many years. This is indeed true, but actually underlines the efforts of Arthur. Despite all the efforts of so many over so long, the Little Glen was a crime-infested and derelict area when Arthur took on the challenge in late 2009. He made use of every resource that he could find – and many from the community assisted him – but without his drive and determination, the Little Glen would probably still look as bad as it did then. The facts bear this out.Contextualising Arthur with the Little Glen is completely non-intrusive and will not only serve as an honour and remembrance to him but hopefully will also inspire others to realise that with selfless determination, individuals can make a difference to the community within which they live,” he said.
Brett Herron, chairperson of the City’s Naming and Nomination Committee, said the City’s Public Participation Unit (PPU) conducted a public participation process which was concluded on March 31. This involved asking the local residents and interested and affected parties to indicate their support or objections to the renaming proposal where a dedicated generic email address was made available for submitting comments, as well as the City of Cape Town’s “Have your say” portal, and a dedicated City of Cape Town SMS number.
Mr Herron added: “The PPU will now compile a report about the outcome of the process, and this report will be discussed by the City’s Naming and Nomination Committee who will make a recommendation to the mayor as to whether the reserve should be renamed as proposed. If the mayor agrees, the proposal must be put before council, which is the final decision-making body.”
MESSAGE FROM LANCE GREYLING: DIRECTOR ENTERPRISE & INVESTMENT, CITY OF CAPE TOWN
In my last update I stressed the need for all of us to continue saving water despite the welcome announcement that we will in all likelihood avoid Day Zero in 2018. Our concern at this stage is for the next Summer season, particularly if we have a rainfall as bad or even worse than we had last year. Given the unpredictability of the weather due to climate change it is unfortunately not beyond the realms of possibility that we could have another year of the worst rainfall in recorded history, although of course we are all hoping that this is certainly not the case. It is for this reason that level 6B water restrictions will remain in place at least until the end of Winter and the City will be launching a number of communication campaigns to ensure that we don’t lose the mindset of water saving that we have all become accustomed to recently. We were a bit concerned with the consumption figures last week when we saw a sudden spike from 511 Ml per day to 565 Ml per day but thankfully this last week we have seen it return to a lower level of 522 Ml per day. It is important that we keep it to a lower level and even push to reach our nationally set target of 450 ml per day in order to buy us the necessary buffer for the next Summer season. In this regard I would encourage all businesses and households to install whatever rainwater harvesting technologies are available so that we are able to capture and utilise as much of the Winter rains as possible.
It must also be emphasised that while Cape Town has thankfully averted the worst of the water crisis for now, other areas of the Western Cape are in a particularly dire situation. Our agriculture sector is experiencing major job losses as a result of this drought and this sectors survival could be put at risk if they have to endure the same kind of water cuts next Summer. This is just another reason for why we need to save as much water now so that those farmers who share our dams are not put in the same precarious position next season.
Work is also proceeding at breakneck speed with all of our short term augmentation projects and we should see the first water from our desalination plants come on stream this month. While the City has been trying to deal with the immediate short term crisis we have also been hard at work exploring and deciding on our options for building long term water resilience in Cape Town. Our starting point is that we never want to see Cape Town put in this position again due to unprecedented drought events, nor do we want to see our economy constrained by these kinds of severe water restrictions in the future. On the other hand though, we also don’t want to initiate a build programme that will require exorbitant water tariffs to fund it, thereby making our City globally uncompetitive. To add to this complex equation, it must also be borne in mind that the dams that provide Cape Town with water is also shared by other users, namely agriculture and other smaller municipalities, and it is quite clear that this rain-fed system will continue to make up the bulk of our water supply. It is therefore vital that whatever decisions we take as the City of Cape Town has the buy-in of all the other users and that the National Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation who control the system are in agreement as to how our augmentation projects will impact on our future allocations from these dams. Despite these complexities we are confident as a City that we will be able to find agreement on a way ahead in the near future that can truly build long term water resilience for Cape Town. To get a detailed insight into our current approach to our long term water future I strongly recommend that you read the latest Water Outlook 2018 and its accompanying documents that were updated last week. Links to these documents can be found below and we are encouraging all Capetonians and especially businesses to engage with these plans and share your comments so that we can build this water secure future together.
Useful links and Information
For convenience we have set up a City Business Enquiry Service that will provide information on the City’s procedures and processes. If you need any assistance please firstname.lastname@example.org.
All tiers of government are actively responding to the drought crisis through restrictions, reducing their own consumption, awareness raising and augmenting water supply, amongst other interventions. For the latest updates please refer below:
The City of Cape Town and SA Facilities Management Association (SAFMA) with support from Old Mutual, GreenCape and Western Cape Government recently hosted an interactive drought crisis meeting for facilities managers. Read morehere.
Alternative water workshop for plumbers
An alternative water workshop for plumbers was held on 20 March 2018. The event provided plumbers and alternative installers an update on the drought crisis and an opportunity to engage in detail on the practical implementation of alternative water system installations, including regulation and legislated requirements and technical aspects. Download the presentationhere.
Activist group Stop City of Cape Town (Stop COCT) says it will not allow the public participation process on the draft budget to be used as “an inconvenient tick box” to allow the City of Cape Town to approve what they call a “one-sided and unfair” budget.
Mayor Patricia de Lille tabled the proposed budget for 2018/19 during a full sitting of council on Wednesday March 28.
Ms De Lille’s speech included a list of new municipal charges including a 26.9% water increase and a R5 billion cash injection into informal settlements, water and waste services.
Ms De Lille urged residents to have their say and submit comments. The closing date for the public participation process is Friday May 4.
Some of the projects highlighted for the northern suburbs include R9 million for the construction of the Dunoon library as well as R22 million for the Dunoon taxi terminus. R35.1 million has been allocated towards the Potsdam Waste Water Treatment Works extension and R370 million for the Atlantis aquifer project.
Further tariff hikes include 7.2% in rates, 8.1% in electricity, 26.9% in sanitation and 5.7% in refuse.
Last week Stop COCT updated its website after the mayor’s speech to receive the public’s comments and submit it to the City. Since Friday March 30, just under 10 000 comments have been received.
In a press release issued by Stop COCT, the group says the number of comments are extraordinary, taking into consideration that it was Easter weekend.
“Stop COCT will ensure the City of Cape Town does not violate the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act and misuse this public participation to pass the budget,” read the statement.
Sandra Dickson, one of the founders of Stop COCT, said if the water tariff was approved, the already steep Level 6B water tariff increases would grow by another 26.96%.
“The current Level 6b increases represented a 500% plus increase in water tariffs. These new increases effective from July 1 this year 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,” said Ms Dickson.
In her speech Ms De Lille said properties valued between R150 000 and R400 000 all receive 10 500 litres of free water. Karen Davis, chairperson of the Greater Table View Action Forum (GTAF), felt this proposal was “ridiculous” .
“It seems the more people save water, the more the City expects people to pay to subsidise water augmentation projects, which I feel should come from national government and the City, not ratepayers.
“The burden is becoming too much for most people as it is and in the long run, will affect our economy on a large scale. The water management devices are an issue and I believe they should be scrapped until they can source meters that work properly and without fail. Why should people pay a service charge for a meter that restricts water consumption?,” she said.
She also disagreed with the amount allocated to Dunoon’s taxi rank and library and believed it would be better spent if pumped into infrastructure, roads and houses. She did, however, agree with the Potsdam Waste Water Treatment Works extension.
“I am no expert, but the water treatment works is of concern as this needs to ensure our recycled water for a huge and growing population, so in essence, I don’t believe this is unreasonable.”
Ms Dickson echoed Ms Davis’ sentiments about the project, saying it was much needed and long overdue. “The budget is very thin and disappointing on the re-use of waste water in general,” said Ms Dickson.
Mandy da Matta, vice-chairperson of the Table View Ratepayers’ Association, said the water increase “smacked of bad fiscal management”.
“The added increases on sewage/ water tariffs as well as the flat fees cannot and should not be afforded by the population of Cape Town due to the fact that the City management did not administer resources correctly,” said Ms Da Matta.
She said any increase based on property value “speaks to a rates and taxes issue” and not to water tariffs.
“In this instance we should call upon all residents to take up cause with the City and reject these increases as they do not fall under a category of fair and reasonable taxation. It would appear that the mayor is busy trying to raise funds for her political career as opposed to the good and fair management of the city.
“This preposterous unconscionable financial regime should not be put before the residents and should the mayor not remove these tariffs from the proposed budget then it is incumbent upon the residents to call for a referendum requesting the removal of the mayor; the removal of the mayor’s powers in setting up the budget in terms of the Municipal Finances Act and that public participation is required before a higher than inflation rate increases may be proposed,” said Ms Da Matta.
Peter Walsh, chairperson of the Milnerton Central Residents’ Association (MCRA), believes the public participation process should be see as nothing more than a “tick box on the City’s part”.
“One can sympathise with residents who are already on the back foot financially. Here comes another round of increases in tough economic times. On the other hand, the City has to raise money from somewhere in order to build and maintain infrastructure. But given how badly the City has dealt with the drought, on top of the fact that they attempted to drive through the unpopular drought levy and how they are not seen to be litigating for support from national government; one would expect the City to first get their own house in order before approaching the public. As pointed out by Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) and the Chamber of Commerce, the City is not outlining any massive cost-saving initiatives to us as residents. The question is how do they plan to save money before asking for more,” said Mr Walsh.
Ward 4 councillor, Wandisile Ngeyi, invited people on Facebook to attend a public participation meeting to comment on the draft 2018/19 budget.
The meeting will take place on Thursday April 12, at the Edgemead/Monte Vista Hall in Edgemead Drive between 7pm and 9pm.
“After a short corporate presentation the six wards (Wards 1, 4, 5, 70, 107 and 113) will break into work groups per ward to discuss and make comment on the draft 2018/19 budget.,” he said in his post.
* The City’s Transport and Urban Development Authority’s (TDA) draft operating budget amounts to R3.6 billion and its draft capital budget amounts to R1,74 billion.
On Monday April 2 Brett Herron, Mayco member for transport and urban development released a statement, saying the bulk of the capital expenditure will be spent on new housing developments and public transport infrastructure within the city’s urban inner core which included areas along the R27.
He added that a further R327 million will be spent on facilities for cyclists and pedestrians, such as universally accessible sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, and walkways in areas which included Blaauwberg.
By Summer Jacobs posted at https://www.tabletalk.co.za/news/budget-blues-for-residents-14232276