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A steep hike in water tariffs could be one of the long-term solutions to Cape Town’s crippling water shortages, the Cape Chamber of Commerce says. The city is set to scrap free-water quotas and increase tariffs as the worst drought in decades continues to bite. The critical water shortages have prompted fears that taps could soon run dry. On Monday, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille declared the province a disaster area as dam levels slumped to 20.7%. With the last 10% of a dam’s water mostly unusable, dam levels are effectively at 10.7%. Forecasts also suggest the region will receive less than average rainfall during the winter rainfall season, which will likely prolong the crisis. On Wednesday, Cape Chamber president Janine Myburgh said there is no doubt that water will become more expensive in the future and every business should plan to use water more efficiently. "The electricity crisis and the shocking tariff increases forced people to find ways to use less electricity and now ...

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