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Increase in water tariffs on cards as drought worsens

BY Site Admin

WITH no end in sight to the crippling drought, Nelson Mandela Bay residents can expect a massive increase in punitive water tariffs.

 

This will apply to consumers who use more than 15 kilolitres a month.

Introducing an urgent motion at yesterday’s budget and treasury committee meeting, DA caucus leader Leon de Villiers said he had received notification on Monday evening that the municipality was poised to introduce a much higher punitive tariff.

 

He said the letter, dated May 11, said the decision followed a meeting of the water management committee on May 5 that had accepted the need for a “considerable” increase in the light of the ongoing drought that has already seen the metro declared a disaster area.

 

Budget and treasury officials told De Villiers that details of the planned increase would be made available at next week’s joint meeting of budget and treasury and the mayoral committee.

 

As the metro continues to experience the ravages of what water and sanitation director Barry Martin has described as “a green drought” – because there has been rain in the city but little in the catchment area – a briefing on the Emergency Drought Implementation Plan has been arranged for tomorrow.

 

The combined capacity of the city’s dams currently stands at 35.05%. The Kouga dams is 34.3% full, Churchill 10.6%, Impofu 43.8%, Loerie 46.7% and Groendal 39.6%.

The Bay has been declared a drought disaster area, allowing the city to apply for R1.6-billion in emergency funding to tackle the crisis.

 

Planned emergency measures include a desalination plant that will cost R750-million and fast-tracking of the Nooitgedacht Dam low-level scheme that will cost R650-million.

 

Patrick Cull - The Herald

 May 19, 2010
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