This is the opening framework of the speech I would have delivered had debate been allowed when the Draft Budget was tabled – theme: Unaffordable Cape Town. A different blog post (same date) confirms that the Mayor and Speaker shut down debate when it was tabled, and explains why doing so is a problem.
For 5 years now the ACDP has been calling for a zero % increase in rates accounts to ratepayers because the Cape Town is fast becoming an unaffordable City to live in. We are disappointed but not surprised to see substantial increases proposed again this year. This is now the 10th year in a row – at least.
This year is no exception, but given the extreme drought and the reduced long term rainfall projections, we believe that the Level 3B water restrictions should be kept in place until the start of Winter 2019, and that the cost of water to ratepayers must be increased.
The Mayor announced these draft increases:
- Rates: an average of 5% – down from 6% last year
- Electricity: an average of 3,34% – down from 7,78% last year
- Refuse: an average of 6,51% – down from 7,92% last year
- Disposal: an average of 8,32% – down from 12,08% last year
- Water: an average of 19,25% – up from 9,75% last year
The ACDP says this does not go far enough – These should all be zero % except for water, as explained earlier.
Combining a far higher cost of water while retaining the Level 3B water restrictions, will cement the growing culture of saving water, recycling waste and grey water and harvesting rain water that most ratepayers have implemented since this drought worsened.
The City should then use the additional income from water and fines to fast track the building of brown water recycling facilities, and subsidise the costs of water management devices to be installed in all households.