Cash-strapped waterboards have been thrown a R600 million lifeline to stay afloat amid cash shortages compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In order to lessen the financial burden on hard-hit consumers, there has been no increase on bulk water charges imposed on all water boards for the 2020-21 financial year, reports News24.
This emerged in Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s reply to a written parliamentary question from EFF MP Mathibe Rebecca Mohlala.
Mohlala requested details on measures the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) had taken to assist water boards and municipalities to continue to supply clean and reliable drinking water to the residents with the tariff increase of 11.5% by her department.
Sisulu replied sayin that the department has also committed R600m in relief funds that will be distributed to cash-strapped water boards.
“These funds will also go some way in helping the water boards to absorb the increase in raw water charges,” the reply said.
Sisulu said significant concessions had been made with regards to raw water use charges.
“In terms of water resource management charges (WRMC), if the charges had been approved in line with the policy (raw water pricing strategy), the charges would have been increased by a maximum of 56%.
“In terms of water resource infrastructure charges (WRIC), a maximum increase of 16.5% would also have been approved. The capital unit charge (CUC) which is the charge levied on users that take water from schemes that are funded off-budget has not been increased for the 2020-21 financial year. The zero percent increase has been imposed on those schemes that supply water to domestic users,’ she said.