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The City of Cape Town maintains that the water tariff is justified and should stay to help compensate for lost revenue. However, residents say that the levy has become a financial burden and unaffordable for all households and demands that the city scrap it.

RELATED: Cape Town dam levels 84% but Xanthea Limberg says water tariffs stay at level 1

Cosatu in the Western Cape says that they have given the City of Cape Town seven days to respond to its demand for the scrapping of the tariff, as it is no longer necessary.

Mayco member for water and waste services, Xanthea Limberg speaks to Jeremy van Wyk to give us the latest on this discussion with role players in the city.

Currently, the City is on Level 1 tariffs which is the second-lowest level tariff in terms of our schedule.

Xanthea Limberg, Mayco Member Water and Waste Services - City Of Cape Town

At level 1 tariffs, residents pay 1.7 cents per litre of water, for the entire service, she clarifies.

Cape Town also has the lowest tariff increases across the country.

Xanthea Limberg, Mayco Member Water and Waste Services - City Of Cape Town

Provision needs to be made for inflation and electricity increases, she adds as those national cost increases are not within the City of Cape Town's control and have to be factored in in order to maintain the full service to users.

That service incorporates buying bulk water form the national department of water and sanitation, treating and deliver that water to households and businesses, and maintaining the infrastructure.

Xanthea Limberg, Mayco Member Water and Waste Services - City Of Cape Town

Jeremy says residents and businesses are pushing back against the tariff, and questions whether the City informed users of the R100 increase.

She says the annual budget was put out for public comment before it was implemented and residents had the opportunity to comment.

How did this R100 tariff become a permanent line item on the budget when it was introduced during the drought under extraordinary circumstances, to fall away when the water situation improved, asks Jeremy?

The current tariffs are much lower than they were during the peak of the drought, says Limberg.

But the drought also showed us that we could not rely on residents buying the same amount of water, and these fluctuations have obviously a dramatic impact on the income that has to pay for the service.

Xanthea Limberg, Mayco Member Water and Waste Services - City Of Cape Town

In order to address this, she says the City adopted the same tariff model as all other municipalities across the country in order to guarantee a fixed and stable income to fund the service.

Regarding the calls to scrap the R100 tariff, Limberg says there is a misunderstanding where two issues are beong conflated. Like every municipality across South Africa, the City of Cape Town's tariff is made up of a fixed component and a consumptive portion.

So, we are not doing anything differently and in fac, our tariff model is actually much lower or on par with many municipalities.

Xanthea Limberg, Mayco Member Water and Waste Services - City Of Cape Town

Listen to the interview below:

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : City of Cape Town responds to call to scrap R100 water tariff

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