Only indigent get free water

John Theron, Montrose Park

I’m 72 years old and we receive 350 litres of water a day.

Every day we have water that goes over to the next day.

We currently have 1 500 litres left but for the second month we are getting bills of more than R500 a month.

The City said with the open flow system, the daily quota has increased from 350 liters a day to 500 litres a day, with a total of up to 15 000 litres a month. (“‘Open flow’ phased in”, Plainsman, August 4).

I am a pensioner and cannot afford this bill.

We have water left every day.

Why are we getting a bill?

Ian Neilson, mayoral committee member for finance, responds:

The City of Cape Town’s Revenue Department investigated the customer’s matter and found that the property owner applied and was successful to renew their application for a rates rebate on July 17 2019.

The rates rebate is applicable to customers older than 60 years, dependent on a pension for their livelihood or who are receiving a social grant.

We encourage Mr and Mrs Theron to approach a City’s customer office to apply for indigent support instead, as they will receive more benefits and will see a reduction in their current account.

When applying, they should supply the office with an affidavit stating whether they have any bank accounts or bond accounts registered in their names.

Prior to July 1 2019 the first 6 000 litres of water was free to all residential properties.

This amounts to approximately 200 litres of water per day.

As of July 1 2019, the 6 000 litres of free water was no longer applicable to all residential properties but only for those properties identified as indigent or where the property owners who registered as indigent continued to receive the 6 000 litres plus an additional 4 500 litres of water, for free.

This allocation of 350 litres of water is available to residents on a daily basis and if it is not used, is carried over to the following day.

The remainder does not carry over to the new month.

On May 26 the City approved an allocation of 15 000 litres of water per month free to registered indigent properties.

We encourage the resident to visit their nearest City customer office for more information about the available benefits and support and to take up the offer to register as indigent.