Cape Town wants to invest billions in water, sanitation


The City of Cape Town has asked residents to comment on its proposed budget for the new financial year, a budget that includes billions of rand in spending on water and sanitation services.

The overall budget for water and sanitation in the 2024-25 financial year amounts to R18.4 billion. Of this, R5.3 billion is the proposed capital budget and R13.1 billion for the operating budget.

Zahid Badroodien, mayoral committee member for water and sanitation, says the proposed budget testifies to the city’s seriousness and commitment to doing the basics better, especially when it comes to the delivery and investment in water and sanitation services.

Building a secure water future, the reliable delivery of clean water, decent sanitation facilities, the reduction of sewage spills and the improvement of waste water treatment to help protect the environment and domestic water quality remain the city’s key priorities.

Informal settlements

The plan is to spend R38.25 million on new taps and toilets in informal settlements. This is in addition to the services already provided.

New water programs

Surface water is responsible for approximately 98% of Cape Town’s drinking water, but by 2040 the city expects groundwater, desalination and water reuse to account for up to 25% of the supply. This is in addition to the removal of alien invasive plant species in catchment areas.

Alternative water sources will be introduced to accommodate Cape Town’s growing population. This includes desalination, extraction of water from aquifers and the city’s Faure New Water programme. Cape Town is also on track to increase water supply by an additional 300 million liters of water from new water sources every day by 2030.

The city plans to invest R460.1 million in major infrastructure projects, the largest part of which is for aquifer projects.

Waste water treatment plants

R2.58 billion is estimated to be spent on expansions and upgrades at key facilities over the next financial year. The city then intends to increase the amount to R2.96 billion in the 2025-26 financial year.

The expansions will increase the capacity of plants such as Potsdam, Athlone, Bellville and Macassar.

Sewage spill

R1.07 billion is budgeted for various projects that should proactively help prevent any sewage spills:

  • R154.37 million for the renovation of sewage pumping stations
  • R315.1 million for the replacement of 100 km of sewer pipes
  • R597.5 million to tackle sewage spills by upgrading bulk sewer pipes on the Cape Flats, in Philippi, Milnerton and Gordons Bay.

Reliable water delivery to property

A total of R83.3 million is budgeted for the replacement of 50 km of water pipes.

Communities that will benefit from these renovations include Hout Bay, Simonstad, Vishoek, Glencairn, Tokai, Ottery, Somerset West, Kuils River, Strand, Bloubergstrand, Flamingo Vlei, Atlantis, Summer Greens, Kraaifontein, Bellville, Brackenfell, Durbanville, Loevenstein , Ravensmead, Churchill, Tygerdal, Parow Valley, Sea Point, Athlone, Claremont and Fairfield Estate.

Build resilience during load shedding

The plan is to spend R127.7 million on power generators and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) installations at sewage and water pumping stations as well as waste water treatment plants.

Improve waterways

The city also has many plans to improve waterways to reduce the risk of flooding and pollution. A total of R137.86 million is intended for various projects:

  • Flood relief in the Lawrence River
  • Macassar flood relief
  • Renovations to Sir Lowrys Pass
  • Upgrading the Zandvlei Canal
  • Bayside Canal upgrade work

Residents have until April 30 to comment on the budget.