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City’s water and sanitation spend actually a record spend, contrary to false claims<p><strong>​Summary:</strong></p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;"><strong>At the end of 2017, which is halfway through the financial year, additional funding was made available for water augmentation projects. This was a wholly new budget, to be funded through external loans as the need arose, which almost doubled the original budget for water and sanitation</strong></div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;"><strong>The Executive Deputy Mayor, Alderman Ian Neilson, was placed in charge of the New Water Programme after the additional budget was allocated</strong></div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;"><strong>To date, expenditure of 85% of the original budget has been achieved</strong></div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;"><strong>This original budget, along with the New Water Programme budget, reflects a rand value spend of R1,72 billion by the Water and Sanitation Department in the 2017/18 financial year, which is the highest annual spend ever achieved</strong></div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;"><strong>In the step one tariff, the average increase has been limited to R2,65/kl</strong></div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;"><strong>If water restrictions are lowered to appropriate levels by the National Department of Water and Sanitation, the City will lower the associated water tariffs</strong></div></li></ul><p>It must be clarified that there are two separate budgets that are being conflated to give residents a skewed idea of budget spend progress. The City’s original budget for normal Water and Sanitation services has already achieved 85% of expenditure. This expenditure is for normal operations such as pipe maintenance and water treatment.</p><p>This expenditure is separate from the budget that was made available for the New Water Programme for the funding of costly water augmentation projects such as aquifer extraction and desalination. It is very misleading to present these two separate budgets for two separate undertakings as a single entity. </p><p>The money budgeted for the Water and Sanitation Department that has not yet been spent on the New Water Programme is to be provided from external loan funding. Thus, because the expenditure was lower than originally allowed for, the loans have not been taken up, providing a saving to the public as no interest repayments are due. </p><p>The impact on the rest of the 2017/18 budget has thus been minimal. As the City was not required to take up the loan funding, that has also contributed to lower water tariffs in the 2018/19 financial year than would otherwise have been the case. Thus the financial impact of the saving has been positive for the public. </p><p>Additional savings were realised through not spending on equipment for water collection points. This is indicative of the effectiveness of the water demand management strategy that the City introduced, and the water-saving efforts of residents.</p><p>The New Water Programme evolved out of the Water Resilience Programme. As the programme progressed, savings were identified through the constant review and re-phasing of the programme.  </p><p>The City has proceeded with the implementation of the augmentation programme, which includes:</p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">groundwater projects at Atlantis, the Cape Flats aquifer and the Table Mountain Group aquifer</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">temporary desalination plants at Strandfontein, Monwabisi and the V&A Waterfront </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">water re-use projects </div></li></ul><p><strong>The City makes no profit on the sale of water</strong></p><p>If water restrictions are lowered to appropriate levels by the National Department of Water and Sanitation, the City will then lower the associated water tariffs. Restriction levels are linked to dam levels, and restriction tariffs are linked to the volume of water used by the city. This means that if the restriction level is reduced, individual use is expected to increase as the tariff decreases, ensuring the City receives the same total income. </p><p>In the step one tariff, the average increase has been 10% or R2,65 per kilolitre </p><p>The City has for a while now been communicating its intent to lower tariffs when the associated water restriction levels are lowered by the National Department of Water and Sanitation at the appropriate time. </p><p>Indigent people are still protected and receive free basic services. </p><p>On 20 July 2018, City officials, as well as officials from other municipalities and representatives from the agricultural sector, met with the National Department of Water and Sanitation to have a risk-based discussion on the water situation in the Western Cape. The meeting also considered the possible relaxation of water restrictions at an appropriate point in the near future, as the City had been requesting. </p><p>It was agreed that there would be a phased approach to the recovery of the dams. This means that there will not be a big shift in restriction levels in one step. A follow-up meeting will take place in August 2018. </p><p>Lastly, the fixed service delivery charge is absolutely necessary to ensure that the City can continue to provide reliable water services. This model of fixed service charges has been implemented in other municipalities as well, such as Durban, as a result of their severe drought. </p><p><br><strong>End</strong><br></p>2018-07-30T22:00:00ZGP0|#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|#6d74f542-d9f0-4f31-b633-4b6953df355d;L0|#06d74f542-d9f0-4f31-b633-4b6953df355d|tariffs;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#8d6c96a2-13de-4c46-9728-0292797035b6;L0|#08d6c96a2-13de-4c46-9728-0292797035b6|water allocation;GP0|#8b4016ed-c43c-4538-bad5-3295c03e1378;L0|#08b4016ed-c43c-4538-bad5-3295c03e1378|basic service delivery1

 

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