Good news on Water Restriction Tariffs

The TWK municipality had a Special Council Meeting yesterday to debate the Water Tariff Structure, after many complaints about the implications of the adopted Tariff Structure for water usage during times of Water Restrictions.

The TWK municipality had a Special Council Meeting yesterday to debate the Water Tariff Structure, after many complaints about the implications of the adopted Tariff Structure for water usage during times of Water Restrictions.

Submissions from concerned stakeholders had been received by TWK after the announcement of the “double” water tariff. The Ward 2 Forum made a comprehensive submission, Tariff proposals and motivation during a meeting with TWKM last week, on behalf of its members in the TWK Ward 2. This submission was based on the research done by our team on the implication of the unilateral doubling of rates for water usage. It was found that the proposed rate would have little to no effect on the objective of saving water and would only really affect the lower income and the business sector.

It is thus with a measure of relief that we are able to announce the new and amended Water Tariffs as adopted by the TWKM Council yesterday morning.

In short:

The restricted domestic water tariff for consumption

  • 0 -6 kl be restored to R 4.74 (Excl. VAT, which is the old tariff)
  • 7 – 15 kl will be increased to R 8.55
  • > 15 kl will be double as per the previous tariff notice

Full Tariff prices will be available on our website in due course.

The business water tariff will be subject to an application for potential exemption from the higher rates. Each application will be reviewed on merit. The required form for this application is being obtained from TWKM and the Ward 2 Forum will ensure these are available to businesses that wish to apply for the exemption.

The Ward 2 Forum team will endeavour to keep you informed on any further developments in respect of the Water Tariff Structure. We believe that there are still aspects of this policy that still need to be questioned and hopefully corrected. We also wish to congratulate our Mayor and her team for the leadership shown in the way they tackled this problem through a process of Public Participation.

For additional information please do not hesitate to contact the Ward 2 Forum.

The Ward 2 Forum Team


Concern about the Brownish Colour of our Potable Water


We have had several questions about the “brownish” colouring of our potable water in the Ward 2 area. In a bid to alleviate the fears and concerns that the water is not safe to drink, we have compiled a short summary of what causes the discolouration.


The discolouration is a phenomenon that is generally associated with winter and the rainy season of our region. However the discolouration is not only restricted to the Cape, but is traditionally a feature of the mountain water of the western Cape.



Soil contains a wealth of organic matter from decomposed plant material. A substance known as “humus” is the primary component of that organic matter. As water washes through soil, particularly in the winter rainy periods, it washes away the humic acids from the humus in soil. The higher the level of Humic Acid and depending on the molecular structure of the compound the water will vary in darkness.

Due to the richness of the biodiversity of the Western Cape the humus content of the soil in the catchment areas of our mountain water is very high and thus prone to leaching during winter rainy periods.


The release or leaching out of the Humic Acids is a vital part of our Cape ecosystem, which allows the rich mineral to travel downstream into alluvial plains and is the building blocks of Vlei and wetland areas. The molecular structure of the Humic Acid promotes the uptake of oxygen in plants.

Humic acids are complex aromatic macromolecules with amino acids, amino sugars, peptides, aliphatic compounds involved in linkages between the aromatic groups. The hypothetical structure for humic acid contains free and bound phenolic OH groups, quinone structures, nitrogen and oxygen as bridge units and COOH groups variously placed on aromatic rings.


Research has shown these acids to be a very effective tool for regulating metals in both plants and animals. Generally, it is accepted that humic acid is not harmful but rather good for the human body. However the quantities in our water are so low that it will have little to no real affect on humans.

In terms of the SANS 241 Drinking Water Quality standard, the determinant that deals with the watercolour is deemed an aesthetic/operational determinant and has no health related implications.

To remedy this and to achieve a crystal clear water, as we are so used to, the filtration process being used in the Ward 2 area would have to be modified extensively to allow for a flocculating process to be added to the treatment cycle of our potable water system. However, it is generally accepted that the traditional chemical used to achieve this is aluminium sulphate and notoriously difficult to control and dose. Flocculating agents are either inorganic salts or water-soluble organic polymers. They act by shrinking the ionic double layer, or neutralizing the surface charge of suspended particles, or bridging between particles. The type of flocculent used depends on the type of solid–liquid separation being performed. Flocculants are usually selected by the results of laboratory-scale experiments.

Some agents or impurities in them may present toxicological or environmental problems. The general economic trend is the replacement of inorganic salts with organic polymers, which give improved performance.

It is thus, in our view, safer to live with the discoloured water that is perhaps aesthetically unacceptable rather than add an additional process & cost of which the outcome is unknown anyway.


 Ward 2 Forum Team