Activists mount campaign to halt rates bills from spiralling
THOUSANDS of residents across the city have raised their objection to the installation of water management devices (WMD) on the Stop the City of Cape Town Facebook page.
The device is one of six issues highlighted in a memorandum of grievances which protest group Stop COCT and Save Cape Town handed over to representatives of the DA, the City of Cape Town, the office of the Public Protector and the office of the Presidency yesterday morning during a protest march to Parliament.
A group of 40 Capetonians took to the streets to vent their anger at proposed plans to raise charges for water, sanitation, refuse and electricity.
Stop City of Cape Town founder, Sandra Dickson said other grievances included the billing system. Residents were still subjected to level 6b water restrictions even though Day Zero “is gone”.
“Even the level 6b restrictions were just enforced upon the residents. I was there when (Mayor) Patricia (de Lille) just read it out and said it would happen. The drought levies were put to a vote.”
Dickson accused the city of being autocratic.
At the end of last month, De Lille, in her budget speech, proposed a 26.9% tariff rise for water and sanitation rates along with a 7.2% increase for rates and 5.7% for refuse and 8.1% for electricity. The news was met with outrage by residents.
The tariff rise, if implemented, will be charged from July 1.
Charges for water and sanitation are set to increase between R56 and R100 and if the proposed R49 billion budget is to be approved, consumers will pay a R150 flat rate before using any electricity in their homes.
City officials, on the other hand, said the hikes are needed to run the city efficiently.
On April 1, South Africans faced an added financial burden when value added tax (VAT) increased from from 14% to to 15%.
The group and other activists have established a website that receives and collates comments on the proposed budget. So far, more than 18 677 people have commented on the budget.
According to Stop the City of Cape Town, the group has 7 852 members.
Residents have accused the city of profiting from the drought but city officials are adamant that the tariff rises hikes are necessary.
Lulu Shi, 39, with guides Phanny Risimati and Dean Oellofse in the Kruger National Park.