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MBABANE – While adjusting to the electricity price hike, consumers should be prepared to pay more for water.

Last week, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy tabled tariff increase of water for the financial years 2018/2019 to 2020/2021 at the House of Assembly. The Water Tariff Increase Regulations 2018 stipulate charges and fees listed in the tariff schedule which shall be increased by 13.7 per cent, for each of the financial years 2018/2019 and 2020/21. If the regulations are passed by Parliament, it will see residential users paying E58.80 as water charges for 0-10 cubic metre in the 2018/2019 financial year. For the 2017/2018 financial year, consumers were paying E51.70. The schedule reflects that there would be no increase for the categories of new connections of both water and sewage installation for all the three stipulated financial years.

However, it will not be the case for tankered water supply which currently costs E23.10 per m3, as it will increase to E26.30 per m3 for the financial year 2018/2019 and go up to E29.90 per m3, while for the financial year 2020/2021 consumer will be charged E34 per m3. Under the category of reconnections, there will be no need to worry for consumers as the charges will stay the same at E32.05 for all the three financial years. Charges and fees under disconnection for non-payment and illegal connection will also not increase. Also included in the schedule are borehole charges, where the application for a new permit per annum (infrastructure available) will increase from E1 471.20 to E1 672.80 for the financial year 2018/2019, and this is for a borehole with a size from 0-400m3.

For the year 2019/2020, the application for new permits will increase to E1 901.90 while in the financial year 2020/2021, consumers will have to fork out E2 162.50. For the renewal of the permits, where infrastructure is available, the charges will increase from E980.90 to E1 115.30 for the financial year 2018/2019, while for 2019/2020 consumers will pay E 1 268. Under the category of miscellaneous charges, the schedule included charges for septic tanks or vacuum tanker discharge which will increase from E747.10 per load to E860.80 for the financial year 2018/2019. For the financial year 2019/2020, the charges stand at E978.80 and will increase to E1 112.83 in the 2020/2021 financial year.
The charges for an unmetered fire connection ranging between 0-100 mm will increase from E262 per month to E297.90 for the financial year 2018/2019.

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