Paying for poor planning

G.Contaldi, Tafelsig

Most people in the Western Cape underestimated the reality and severity of the drought in the region and were not adequately prepared for it.

The City of Cape Town seems to have been the most unprepared for the serious water shortage. One of the key indi-cations of this, is the long time it took them to start building water desalination plants.

It is, however, of great concern that as a result, many ratepayers in its municipal area have been slammed with huge water bills in recent months.

This is despite most residents making considerable efforts to try and save water.

Is it fair that ratepayers literally have to pay for the inefficiencies and delays of the municipality and provincial government in developing effective contingency plans?

How long will this trend of high water charges continue? What is also of great concern are the unhelpful, ignorant and often disrespectful responses of municipal officials at various service points.

Have they not been provided with sufficient training to deal with these queries? The real issues are the exorbitant tariffs and incorrect water billing.

Even though we still have a long way to go, the current rains are bringing much-needed relief to our city.

Will this, however, also translate into any relief for ratepayers in this regard? When will we once again see a municipal water billing system that is both accurate and fair to ratepayers? What actions or campaigns are required on the part of homeowners, to try and change this bad state of affairs?