Deepening Democracy through Access to Information
Home / Covid-19 News RSS ← Back

Email this article

separate emails by commas, maximum limit of 4 addresses

Verification Image. Please refresh the page if you cannot see this image.

Sponsored by


Article Enquiry

Ratepayers and City Councils think differently about money

Verification Image. Please refresh the page if you cannot see this image.

Embed Video

Ratepayers and City Councils think differently about money

Photo by Reuters

16th October 2020


Font size: -+

The Cape Town drought and the effects of Covid-19 have brought into sharp contrast a widening gap between City Council officials and ordinary ratepayers on the other, when it comes to money and economic reality.

Confronted by these emergencies, ratepayers and the private business sector, immediately made savings to survive. The public sector’s reaction was to take measures to maintain their staff and budgets.


When the drought was so bad that Day Zero looked perilously close, the City’s civil servants finally sprang into action. They used all means available to persuade, frighten or bully, water users to drastically cut back on their water consumption.

The public response was admirable. Water-use dropped by as much as a third, but so did City Council water-income, so immediate steps were taken to  ensure that despite less spent on water, the Council machine could remain operating in the manner to which it had become accustomed – and then some.


Today the drought is over. Dams are overflowing. Cape Town’s ratepayers of all kinds are naturally demanding a return to previous tariff levels. The City Council’s reaction is to lecture them on climate change, the need to keep things going as they are, and to retain the drought tariffs, drought or no drought.

It is of course a classic case. Ratepayers think the Council and its civil servants are there to serve the public. The Council and its servants think the public should do as they are told and empty their easily refillable wallets.

Something has to give.

At the end of this month Cape Town residents have been promised a review of water tariffs now the drought has ended. In the name of reality, ratepayers already squeezed by dramatic rises in City rates and service levies, will be paying close attention.


Issued by Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry



To subscribe email or click here
To advertise email or click here

Comment Guidelines

About is a product of Creamer Media.

Other Creamer Media Products include:
Engineering News
Mining Weekly
Research Channel Africa

Read more


We offer a variety of subscriptions to our Magazine, Website, PDF Reports and our photo library.

Subscriptions are available via the Creamer Media Store.

View store


Advertising on is an effective way to build and consolidate a company's profile among clients and prospective clients. Email

View options
Free daily email newsletter Register Now