The city of Cape Town says residents may have to pay a monthly drought charge from February 2018.
These charges would be temporary as city officials aim to raise R1 billion annually while the dams in the Western Cape recover.
Cape Town Executive Mayor Patricia De Lille says the drought charge is a necessary consideration to help the city avoid the dreadful Day Zero scenario.
De Lille has also explained that the city is already producing more water from the Atlantis-Silwerstroom Aquifer, drilling boreholes and feeding additional water into the supply system from the Oranjezicht springs.
“Our teams are working around the clock to secure new sources of water and to ensure that our existing supply of water goes further,” De Lille said.
Based on consumption figures for October 2017, the Water and Sanitation Department has calculated that the projected water budget will suffer a shortage in the region of R1.7 billion in 2017/18.
De Lille says that without the suggested charges, the city won’t be able to fund the proposed water augmentation progammes and the basic operations required to provide water and sanitation services to residents.
“For this reason, I am proposing a drought charge to help pay for vital projects for 2018. The drought charge, along with residents’ water saving, is the effort needed to beat this drought.”
The mayor has also appealed to councilors and residents to work with the city and see this as a necessary step to keep water in the pipes and, as far as possible, avoid the disastrous implications of Day Zero and the introduction of water collection points.