OUTA welcomes reports that the City of Cape Town’s council executive hopes to reverse the city’s proposal for a drought levy.
OUTA is on record as raising concern about the legality of the proposed drought levy. The City council proposed the levy, linked to property valuations rather than usage, at a council meeting in December and issued a call for public comment on it which is still underway. The levy is to augment water supply and to cover revenue shortfalls.
DA councillor and metro exco leader Grant Twigg said in a statement on Facebook that the exco resolved to recommend to the DA City of Cape Town Caucus that the proposed drought levy not be supported at the next full council meeting, the City should find the money elsewhere and engage with national government on this.
In December, OUTA wrote to the City of Cape Town to oppose the levy and demand that the metro push the national Department of Water and Sanitation to fulfil its obligations and deal with the crisis.
“This does not mean that we are not acutely aware of the dire water situation in the region and the need for urgent action to prevent the city and surrounding areas from running dry,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s CEO.
“Our engagement on the Cape Town drought levy matter has always been to ensure the Constitution and other due processes have been followed, and to ensure that national government is held accountable and is made responsible for taking the urgent and necessary steps to resolve and fund this critical situation.”
While OUTA welcomes the City exco’s apparent about-turn, this is not yet a formal decision. Thus we believe the public should continue to file submissions in terms of the City’s public consultation process which closes on 15 January.
OUTA urges every resident and visitor in Cape Town and other water-scarce municipalities to support the water-saving projects and initiatives called for by the respective authorities.