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City corrects fabricated story regarding so-called “class action” suit <p>The City of Cape Town wishes to set the record straight about the misinformation being driven in the public sphere pertaining to the Patrick Festus and Three Others v the City of Cape Town legal matter, incorrectly being termed a “class action”.</p><p>The article on which the misinformation is being based, appeared on the front page of The Cape Argus on 28 September 2018. It is inaccurate and highly misleading.</p><p>Contrary to what is being stated as fact:</p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">This is not a “class action law suit’ as it is being referred to. It involves four individuals and their accounts which are in arears and which led to disconnection as per the law. </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">The ‘victory’ claimed in the article is fabricated and the slant of the article supports this fabrication. </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">The papers from the attorneys of the applicants which were received by the City’s Legal Department on 12 September 2018 have been incomplete from inception. </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">The City’s internal legal advisor indicated to the attorney for the applicants on 27 September 2018 that a recommendation will be made to the delegated authority to oppose the application in its current form seeing that it is clear the applicants are not going to amend the defective application. </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Approval has subsequently been granted to file a notice of opposition to this application. </div></li></ul><p>The City understands that in the context of the National Election of 2019 many political agendas and narratives will be driven and emotive statements, which are not based on fact, will become increasingly characteristic during this time. However, the City will continue to ensure that it defends the facts and sticks to policy, by-laws and legislation. </p><p><strong>Regarding the continued misleading tariff statements: </strong></p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">Throughout, the City has stated the tariff relief that it has decided to give our residents, is an interim measure. </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">It made the decision, after a meeting with the National Department of Water and Sanitation, the agricultural sector and other municipalities to do so. The water users all agreed that it was for the best. </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">The City awaited the formal feedback from the National Government but it was not forthcoming. </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">The City then decided to lower the restrictions and the associated tariff as an interim measure as:</div></li></ul><p style="text-align:left;">- the dam recovery had been far greater and faster than expected</p><p style="text-align:left;">- good conservation efforts by Capetonians had helped to avoid a disaster-scenario</p><p style="text-align:left;">- there is no further need to remain on the extreme water restrictions and tariffs, which were there for an extreme situation</p><p style="text-align:left;">- further delays in decision-making would lead to our residents unnecessarily paying on the highest, most extreme tariff for many more months on end  </p><p>The full context for consideration and for the record:  <br>The National Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) imposed a limit on urban users to achieve a 45% saving of what they are allocated to use from the dams. The City needs to adhere to this target insofar as it is possible and does so by setting restrictions to adhere to the limit posed. <br>Based on the DWS calculation, the City has not managed to achieve a 45% saving, but is tracking just over 41%, with current demand in the region of 500 million litres per day (including the City’s own water supply sources).<br>The future year’s limits are typically communicated only in December by the DWS. The City believes that waiting for many more months would not be in the best interest of its consumers as that would mean that they would then have to pay an extra two months of extreme tariffs, which were specifically imposed to cater to an extreme situation which has since changed. </p><p>Furthermore, a large jump in restrictions is likely to cause instability both in dam drawdown and demand as well as in revenue. It is therefore better to relax restrictions in a phased manner and not at once in December, for instance, should such a decision be made. </p><p>The City believes, with the full support of the other catchment users such as other municipalities and the agricultural sector, that an interim adjustment to the water savings target and also City’s water restrictions is fully justified and appropriate at this stage. </p><p>Given that dam levels are at approximately 75%, it is appropriate to step down to Level 5 restrictions (500 million litres per day) to provide some financial relief to customers. Level 5 restrictions have an overall consumption target of 500 million litres per day but at a slightly lower tariff.  <br>Water restrictions and tariffs go hand-in-hand<br>Water restrictions and tariffs work together. </p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">For instance, Level 6b water restrictions are extreme as water use had to be reduced drastically.  </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Together with the Level 6b restriction, Level 6 tariffs were implemented to deter high water usage. </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">At the highest tariff, water costs the most to limited. Although the City then sells less water, it receives the same income because water is more expensive. </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Under a lower tariff, more water is usually sold and the income is the same as selling less water but at a higher price. </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">As restrictions continue to be lowered, tariffs will thus be too.</div></li></ul><p>The decisions taken by the City has been in the best interest of its residents, throughout the drought and going forward. <br>Together with its residents, it has managed to do what no other city in South Africa or the world have been able to do to avert a disaster so rare that it only has a chance of return every 311 years. </p><p><strong>End</strong><br></p>2018-09-29T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891d;GP0|#904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7;L0|#0904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7|StatementsGP0|#4f9d18fc-b346-4e25-82ef-570cb2b2c7ba;L0|#04f9d18fc-b346-4e25-82ef-570cb2b2c7ba|water tariffs;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#8f0aed5b-4ba7-472c-92c5-c1c5bc737567;L0|#08f0aed5b-4ba7-472c-92c5-c1c5bc737567|water restrictions1

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