The City of Cape Town has been reaching out to indigent households with high water arrears. Properties valued at R300 000 or less qualify automatically, as do owners with a combined monthly household income of R3500 or less. The owner must be the registered owner of only one property used for residential purposes.
This project offers various benefits to qualifying homeowners. City undertakes, when an owner is approved, to fix all household water leaks free of charge (once off), install a water management device (WMD) free of charge and, where applicable the Electricity Department will install a prepaid electricity dispenser free of charge. Each household will have daily access to 350 litres of water with a facility to manage future water consumption, and the arrears are written off (once off). The owner may, if eligible, also receive and Indigent Grant.
The WMD is an electronic device installed with the water meter. It is programmed to provide a daily allocation of water of 350 litres, opening at 04h00. Any unused allocation is carried over and accumulates as an available, accessible amount. The WMD will shut-off when daily allocation has been exhausted. The amount of water provided can be increased by contacting the Finance Department for a long-term/permanent increase, or the City’s Call Centre for temporary increases.
Since the inception of the project in 2007, more than 161 062 devices have been installed. The total value of write-offs based on the 111 864 indigent households under the R300 000 threshold amounted to R1.25bn. Write-offs for the 2293 indigent properties are based on the owners having a shared income below R3500 per month amounted to R45.5m. By the end of February 2016 there were 114 157 outstanding indigent properties to be addressed through this project.
In these water scarcity times, it makes sense to make use of this service and, where applicable, get arrear water accounts written off.
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)