The one certainty the poor unwashed Capetonians must expect about the city’s water crisis is that whatever new scheme the city government hatches next, it will cost them money and it won’t work. The latest manipulation to emerge from drought central is the announcement that the city has cancelled Day Zero 2019, though not necessarily Day Zero 2020, or beyond. But, well, that’s nice, and just in time too for the outbreak of a new range of water charges. The most recent of these is a thing called a water-delivery charge. This levy, according to a communiqué by Cape Town official Gisele Kaiser, is intended to compensate the city for its loss of revenue caused by lower consumption necessitated by the drought in the Western Cape. It is true that the city lost revenue. Even ratings agency Moody’s spotted that and issued a warning in January that the water-supply crisis was "credit negative". It was careful though to modify the understanding of the crisis to mean it is one caused by an ina...

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