ANNOUNCEMENT: Mayor Patricia de Lille says those continuing to waste the precious water resource will cough up a lot of money if they do not adhere to restrictions.

Capetonians using more than 3 500 litres of water a month can expect to see a whopping 19.25 percent increase in their water bills from July.

The announcement came from Mayor Patricia de Lille, who tabled the City of Cape Town’s R44.3 billion budget on Tuesday.

Those using between 600 litres and 3 500 litres per month can expect to pay between six and 10 percent more for water.

“Only customers who are consuming water in the step tariffs of more than 3 500 litres or 5 000 litres per month will pay much higher tariff increases because it is intended to deter such high consumption during this time of drought,” said De Lille.

Simply put - the more water you use, the more you’ll pay.

De Lille said similar rules would apply to sanitation rates.

Dam levels in the city are dangerously low at 9.7 percent of potable water left.

The mayor said the City would be expanding its emergency water supply schemes as adequate rainfall has been virtually non-existent.

“This is going to become the new normal for Cape Town,” she said.

But it’s not all doom and gloom.

The mayor also had good news for residents in her “pro-poor budget”.

“In continuing our commitment to provide relief to poorer households, we have also introduced a new rates rebate of R50 per month for households whose properties are valued between R400 000 and R750 000.

“We have also increased the value of property from R400 000 to R500 000 for households who qualify for a 25% reduction in refuse removal charges.”

The total cost of the social package amounts to R2.7 billion, which is up from R2.5 billion last year.

Indigent relief for the most vulnerable has been increased from R1.1 billion to R1.3 billion.

The Energy Directorate has also allocated R90 million for electrification projects in informal settlements, new housing projects, and in backyarder dwellings across the city.

De Lille says several Blikkiesdorp and Delft residents raised the concerns about safety and crime.

“In response, we can say that R20 million has been allocated for the appointment of 90 neighbourhood safety officers in Blikkiesdorp and Delft to increase visibility and assist with crime prevention operations,” said the mayor.

De Lille says the City wants to make it easier for mense to find work, and will spending R6.6 million to pay for and subsidise bus rides for unemployed people in Cape Town.

“Many people are giving up looking for work because travel costs are a barrier,” she said.

The City will introduce the free rides on the MyCiTi bus service during off-peak hours by the end of September.