GRAAFF-REINET NEWS - Many residents have expressed their shock at the high municipal accounts, particularly for water, received during August.
The main reason for the increases is the implementation of a baseline tariff for all service charges. In the case of water, a drought category has been added with effect from 1 August, which also has an impact on accounts.
The water tariff structure is designed in such a manner that higher levels of water consumption are charged at progressively higher rates. Thus the more water used, the higher the cost per kilolitre.
The standard new tariffs per kilolitre (kl) are:
- Block 1 (0 – 15kl) R9.49
- Block 2 (16-25kl) R11.39
- Block 3 (>25kl) R13.44
However, with the drought tariff now being implemented, the rates per kilolitre for blocks 2 and 3 have increased enormously. In block 2, the rate is now R22.77 per kl, and for block 3, consumers are now being charged R26.89 per kl –both almost double the standard rate.
In some areas over the the past few months, water meters have not been read and only estimates have been made. If the usage was underestimated, the consumer will be rated on a higher category when the meters are next read, without knowing in which month the water was consumed.
"What is of concern is the fact that the water losses for the entire municipality are about 48%," said Clr Louwrens Nortje. "This is mainly because parts of Jansenville and Klippplaat do not have water meters, as well as outdated infrastructure and poor maintenance throughout the municipality."
Other increases included an electricity tariff increase of 15%, an increase of up to 44% for refuse, and costs for sewerage showing an average increase of 32%.
The municipality declined to comment.
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