Water price hike inevitable

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 11 November 2010

Brace yourself for higher water prices, a senior official in Planning Minister Trevor Manuel’s National Planning Commission has warned.

Price of potable water to increase significantly

Kuben Naidoo, acting head of the NPC secretariat, told delegates to a conference of the Bureau for Economic Research in Somerset West that years of underinvestment had left the country’s water infrastructure teetering.

“The inevitable conclusion is that there will be a real increase in the price of water,” he said.

Naidoo said the increase would not be on the scale of the doubling of electricity prices currently being phased in, but would be significant.

Prices had been kept artifically low because there had been so little investment in the water network for over a decade.

Now it would be necessary to hike prices to discourage waste and to generate the surpluses needed to fund new dams, pipes and pump stations, he said.

Manuel’s commission is scheduled to submit a coordinated plan for the country’s development exactly a year from today.

Naidoo told PoliticsLIVE that the commission was making good progress and likely would start intensive public consultations early around the time of President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address in January.

Source: Times Live

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