Agri SA welcomes new water tariffs

2011-05-12 12:53

Johannesburg - Agri SA has welcomed water tariff adjustments for the 2011/2012 financial year, the organisation said on Thursday.

"This development is significant as the initial proposal regarding water resource management tariffs had made provision for increases of between zero and 179%," said Agri SA president Johannes Möller.

He said a maximum increase of 10% in water resource management and water infrastructure tariff would apply this year.

Möller said Agri SA had informed the water affairs department that the irrigation sector was vulnerable in terms of sustained food production, given rising administered prices such as water and electricity.

"This breakthrough follows Agri SA's ongoing negotiations with the department of water affairs since September last year," he said.

Möller said it was envisaged that the irrigation sector would save at least R100m a year because the initial proposed tariffs were not approved.

He commended Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa for understanding the "dire economic situation within the irrigation sector".

"I hope that progress will now be made with Agri SA's proposed inquiry into the affordability of water tariffs in terms of the department's water pricing policy as part of the review of the national water resource management strategy."