The City of Cape Town has confirmed that ‘Day Zero’ will no longer occur in 2018.
Originally slated for April this year, the date has been steadily pushed out with the introduction of stringent water measures as well as some much needed rainfall – with the City recently indicating that the date had been pushed out until August this year.
On Tuesday however, the City’s water dashboard simply reads that Day Zero has ‘been pushed out to 2019’.
Despite the drought no longer being an imminent threat, the website states that level 6b water restrictions (which were introduced on 1 February) are still in effect, effectively limiting residents to a daily 50 litres per person.
While Cape Town’s residents have reason to celebrate in restricting their water usage and pushing out Day Zero, the drought is still expected to have a heavy cost on the city.
Presenting the city’s budget speech on Wednesday (28 March), Cape Town’s executive mayor Patricia de Lille said that residents can expect a 27% increase in water tariffs across the city.
“The City’s Water and Sanitation Department is also proposing the introduction of a fixed charge for water based on the water meter size as well as seven restriction level tariffs,” she said.
“The Electricity Department is also proposing moving domestic customers to the home user tariff where properties are valued at above R1 million as well as introducing a fixed service charge of R150 per month for these properties,” she said.
The proposed budget for the upcoming financial year will total R49.1 billion, with R39.8 billion going towards on the operating budget and R9.2 billion allocated for capital expenditure.
This is significantly higher than previous financial years where the capital budget was in the region of R6 billion.
One of the key major allocations for the 2018/19 financial year will be the R9.8 billion which has been earmarked for water and electricity bulk purchases from the Department of Water and Sanitation and Eskom, respectively, de Lille said.