I just sent this objection to the City via www.dearcapetown.co.za's one-stop whinging interface:
The City's "ideas" for plugging its funding hole are going from bad (drought levy) to worse (meter fees). Not to mention arbitrary and irrational.
Water meter fee: It is arbitrary, irrational, and unjust to charge residents for the historical accident of what size connection was used (typically decades ago) to connect the property to its water meter. The proposed fees are far in excess of any reasonable "cost of capital" considerations. To me it seems fair to apply "punitive" usage-based increases to water usage: what happened to the "user pays" principle we usually hear so much about?
At some point the City must consider asking the "poor" (poverty is not binary) to pay a little more too. It is not fair to ask me to pay R150+/month for 1-2 kiloliters/month when people defined as "poor" merely by the value of the property they live in pay zero for up to 6 kiloliters/month. This is not an "anti-poor" sentiment (I am "poor" too by the income metric) - there is nuance and a middle ground here.
Electricity meter fees: Similar objection to the water meter fee. Charges should be usage-based, not existence-based. The already progressive property rates should be considered to already incorporate costs of maintaining infrastructure such as electricity distribution networks. If this bogus fee gets passed, I will see an effective 250% increase in my average monthly cost of electricity over the last two years. Just the meter fee alone exceeds what I was paying on average (based on actual usage, not the City's bogus "average" based on selectively tallying purchases) a year or two ago. Do I have to sell my home and register as indigent (which I would qualify for except for my home's valuation) to get the City to stop financially abusing me?
Like everything I do, I left this to the last day. If you see this in time, please support Cape Town residents' push against the City's abusive budget proposals. Send your own objection, perhaps inspired by some points you agree with in other objections, either via dearcapetown's one-stop shop or by directly emailing the City.