The City of Cape Town (CoCT) is to be
commended for preparing a new water strategy paper (in current draft format) as
part of its Water Service Authority mandate and making provision for public
participation in reviewing the draft document. This is especially important in
light of the severe drought (2015 – 2017) recently experienced in the Cape and
the public’s understandable (and justifiable) concern with regards to the
quality, transparency and accountability of long-term water security
OUTA’s review of the
strategy paper has found that the document is fairly comprehensive and
generally a positive step forward in improving transparency and accountability.
However, there are some real concerns
with regards to the following:
Use & Pre-Drought Norms
OUTA is of the opinion that CoCT
residents will revert back to pre 2015 drought norms unless block tariff
pricing is fairly and efficiently implemented, without any political and/or
economic outlook interfearence. Water management within the municipality must
also be seriously addressed, ensuring incentive based behaviour modification
and water security health checks are successfully implemented.
Augemented Water Recommendations from
The National Government has provided
recommendations through the National Development Plan and Department of Water
and Sanitation which should be considered at all times, these have not been
noted in the strategy. City of Cape Town knew as far back as 2007 of their need
to increase water supply through the DWS, this warning was over looked and led
to the 3 year drought currently being experienced in Cape Town.
for Private Sector Waste-Water Re-Use incentives
There are insufficient SMART incentives
for private sector to make cost effective raw or treated waste water at
selected discrete locations. Allowing further treatment, by the private sector,
with a saving on consumable water usage. This incentive can also be a stimulant
for further job opportunities. It must be recognised that not all industrial
/ commercial customers require consumable water for all operations.
& Urbanisation Projections Affecting Future Water Demand
The Strategy Paper fails to mention the
estimated population growth adopted ,for each of the four scenarios (refer to attached
PDF document) as well as the most likely Base Case Plan scenario . Between 2000
and 2015 the CoCT experienced a population increase of around 30% however
future population growth this has not been taken into consideration.
The Strategy Paper fails to clearly
mention what checks and balances will be used to ensure pricing reflects
customers’ ability to pay. Nor does it clearly highlight who oversees the
CoCT when setting new tariff structures. The role of DWS and timescale for
periodic reviews must be highlighted.
Tariff Structure Going Forward
It is considered wise and preferable to
make known the expected tariff pricing band with annual increases (where
appropriate) for the next 5 years leading up to 2023
. Alternatively clear dates should be
provided for when this information will be published. It is also
recommended that tariff pricing be developed for each of the modelled
scenario’s to sense-check financial viability of high-demand and stepped
climate change scenarios. This will allow for greater transparency and
OUTA’s detailed list of commentaries with regards to the CoCT’s Water Strategy can be downloaded here
It is strongly recommended that the
CoCT review and adopt further recommendations as set out in this commentary to
ensure highlighted shortcomings can be addressed.
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