Cape Town firmly pushed the drought panic button on Thursday. Mayor Patricia de Lille said the city council was replacing its unpopular proposed drought levy with higher tariffs and a punitive charge for anyone who used more than 50l of water a day. The new 50l limit will be backed up by a city-wide consumption target of 450-million litres a day. De Lille told a news conference: "We can no longer ask people to stop wasting water. We must force them." Households that use up to 6‚000l of water a month‚ currently paying R28.44‚ will see their bill rise to R145.98. For those who use up to 10‚500l‚ the bill will rise from R109.50 to R390.82. Then it gets ugly. Households that use up to 20‚000l will see their bill rise from R361.06 to R1‚536.25; up to 35‚000l‚ bills will rise from R1‚050.04 to R6‚939.57; and up to 50‚000l‚ bills will rise from R2‚888.81 to R20‚619.57. Said De Lille: "I will personally fight to ensue that the proposed punitive tariff exempts those [households] who are usin...

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