MIL-OSI Africa: Revised norms and standards for water tariffs

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Source: South Africa News Agency

The Department of Water and Sanitation has announced the revised Norms and Standards for tariff setting that provides framework on water tariffs for service providers.

Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu approved the gazetting of the revised Norms and Standards for tariff setting, introducing a multi-year tariff for all water users, to enable users to plan for longer term to ensure affordability and timeous payment for the water usage. 

The new Norms and Standards also provide clarity on the tariffs for water borne sanitation. 

The amended Norms and Standards gazetted on 27 May 2024, under section 10 of the Water Services Act, will come into effect on 01 April 2026. 

The department said the revised document on tariff setting which were last promulgated in April 2002, provides a framework within which water services tariffs should be set by bulk water providers, including non-water boards to a water services authority, water tariffs by water services authority and sanitation tariffs water services authority. 

The new Norms and Standards are also a framework to fund the service delivery expectations, technical Norms and Standards under Section 9 of the Water Services Act.

“The objectives of the revised Norms and Standards for tariff setting are to ensure that tariffs are transparent, predictable and consistent for sustainability of service provision. This is to make certain that consumers receive fair and affordable services, whilst encouraging accountability amongst service providers, enhancing consumer trust and confidence. In addition, this also encourages better water services provision to consumers.

“The new Norms and Standards make provision for multi-year tariff determination to ensure predictability of different types of tariffs, such as drought tariffs, seasonal tariffs and a penalty tariff for water conservation and demand management. Furthermore, they also strengthen the determination of the sanitation tariff and detail the disclosure requirements,” the department said.

The department noted that the revision of the Norms and Standards for tariff setting was necessitated by the developments within the public sector which impacted the water and sanitation services sector, including the promulgation of the Local Government, Municipal Finance Management Act, No.56 of 2003, Municipal Fiscal Powers and Functions Act, No.12 of 2007 and the Municipal Systems Act No. 32 of 2000.

The department said it plans to roll-out the Norms and Standards to stakeholders from October 2024 until March 2025. –

MIL OSI Africa