20 OCTOBER 2020


City to move to no restriction, water-wise tariff from 1 November

Today, 20 October 2020, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee (Mayco) unanimously supported the City’s decision to lift water restrictions in Cape Town and to move to the lowest tariff, being the no restriction, waterwise tariff from 1 November 2020. The item was tabled at the meeting for noting and it will also serve before Council for noting next week. The City thanks all its water partners, residents, councillors and communities for the valuable partnerships that helped Cape Town get through the unprecedented drought and recovery period. Read more below:

Ongoing assessments were done over the past few months and the situation has been actively and proactively monitored by the City.

The decision to lift water restrictions and lower water tariffs is based on the following three key considerations:

  • The National Department of Water and Sanitation’s (DWS) lifting of its restrictions applicable to the Western Cape Water Supply System (WCWSS) of shared dams, of which Cape Town is one of the users. Overall, the WCWSS dam levels reached 100%.
  • City projections indicating dams are unlikely to drop below 50% by next winter. The lifting of all restriction measures, except for existing water regulations permanently in place due to the proactive management of water resources, will allow for water-wise usage, in line with the lowest tariff, which is slightly lower than the current, second lowest tariff level.
  • City projections also indicating the latest anticipated water usage patterns for the coming summer will be sufficient to allow the lowering of water and sanitation tariffs from the second lowest tariff to the lowest, no restriction water-wise tariff level. These tariffs are already part
    of the Council-approved budget for the 2020/21 financial year, which followed due process including a public participation process.‘The Mayco has noted the expert advice from the City’s Water and Sanitation Department and we support its decision to lift the water restrictions and to lower the water and sanitation tariff to the lowest approved level by Council. We have always had a proactive approach to the management of our resources, financial and natural, and we are happy to support the decision. We have come full circle in this vital partnership that saw Team Cape Town get through the drought. Apart from the dams filling up to capacity and beyond in recent weeks, this is another moment to be celebrated as, in a few short years: we have gone from the worst drought to face our city and a potential water ‘Day Zero’, to full dams and zero water restrictions besides the need to stay water-wise. We are situated in a waterscarce region so we will always need to ensure we are sustainable and future-fit.