Unfair water bill

Leslie van Minnen, Fish Hoek

I have been a keen follower of the issues surrounding the absurdity of the monthly water levy charged by council and the weak responses released regarding the many complaints raised by paying customers.

During the height of the drought we were forced under threat of legal action and/or water reduction devices (installed at the consumers’ cost) to consume no more than 50 litres of water per person per day at one stage. Most but not all consumers played the game.

Less water sold meant less income for the council to maintain the system hence the introduction of the water levy. So far so good. However, by conforming to the law and the requirements of the City, paying consumers were and are still penalised.

The fact that the levy is charged on the size of the main line feed at each homeowner’s individual meter is ludicrous to say the least. My consumption is what it is no matter the size of the mainline pipe.

Perhaps we should look at some statistics over the period August 2017 to October 2018.

The following is based on true and accurate water usage/tariffs over the above period and indicates my actual costs:

In my case, I’m still using no more than 4kl per month (R17.37 per kl) at a total cost of R189.66. So my current cost equates to a 57.06% increase since February 2018. Not a shabby increase for less than two years.

What is even more distressing is the fact that all the way through the drought, indigent users were allocated 10.5kl per month free when the paying consumer was allocated a maximum of 50 litres a day per person.

No one is saying that those better off should not help fellow Capetonians in need.

However, the 10.5kl a month for indigent users continues and of course no water levy was or is applicable to these consumers.

The unfairness of the whole pricing issue needs to be more closely investigated.

Homeowners now pay R120.18 per month water levy for a 20mm water feed. Estates, normally occupied by the more wealthy consumer, are paying the least levy per user.

An estate with a 100mm mainline water feed now pays R3 004.38 per month for water levies.

Assuming 150 homeowners, this works out to R20.03 per household per month.

An estate with an 80mm water feed pays R1 922.80 per month. Assuming 10 homeowners, this works out at R192.28 per month.

So, notwithstanding the size of your pipe, some pay R192.28 some pay R120.18 and others pay R20.03 per month. So much for a system supposedly based on fairness for all.

It must be accepted that the above figures may increase or decrease according to each consumer’s personal situation.