Your essential Cape Town Moving List

All about Getting connected and Utilities

When moving home there are so many things on your mind you will find this moving list on how to get connected in Cape Town most useful.

Here you will get all the information to make for a smooth settling into your new home.

Water and Sewerage:

The quality of water in Cape Town is high, so it is potable without any concern.

Water is scare in most South African regions. Fortunately the last winter in 2008 brought a lot of rain, so the dams which feed Cape Towns water supply are currently full.

That said the Municipality of Cape Town maintains that water saving efforts should still be made by all Capetonians as the water restrictions from November 2005 still apply. In practical life you will not feel the restrictions much, as they in effect only forbid watering your garden between 10am and 5pm or hosing down pavements with potable water.

Your water account:

Your water and sewerage bill arrives monthly together with the rates and refuse removal bill from the Municipality of Cape Town. For enquiries regarding your water account call 086 010 3089

Moving List Advice: Depending on your rental contract your landlord might ask for payment of your monthly bill of fresh and used water as well as for refuse removal, but he can not ask for payment of the property rates, which are included in the same bill.

Gas-Supply

Another top item on your moving list is certainly how to get connected to gas supply.

Gas is used in Cape Town in many households for cooking.

Regarding power cuts it is a good idea to make sure you have cooking facilities with gas. It is advisable also to get some gas heaters for winter as electricity for heating can be very costly and as there might be blackouts in the electric grid.

Where do I get gas and what does it cost?

The cost for a 14kg gas bottle is around R285 if you collect and refill the bottles at an Afrox depot. A deposit for the gas bottle will apply if you need a new bottle and do not have one to refill.

You can get the gas delivered by various suppliers at a cost of around R370 for the same capacity, but for smaller bottles I would advise to get the bottle filled at a discounted price at petrol stations, DIY stores or gas depots.

Electricity and Power Supply

Electricity is supplied by Eskom and mainly administered through registered meters from the City of Cape Town. When you move into your new home make sure you get an old voucher with the prepayment meters Number.

Make sure you write a special note for this item in your moving list as you can not get connected when you do not have got the meter number.

You can top up your meters either electronically or buy vouchers at certain Eskom or City Power outlets and petrol stations in your area. They will give you then an authorization number which you will have to punch in at your meter.

Important Moving-List Advice: You will have to pay cash for the top up, as the pay points do not accept cash or credit cards. Check your name and address on the slip immediately as the voucher will not be returned/refunded otherwise.

If you have a credit card however you can register for electronic top up to your prepayment meter. Check here the Municipality of Cape Town website.

Power Consumption

Average consumption for a 4 person household in Cape Town is around 800 to 1200kwn per month. With this assumption you will fall into the high user category Domestic 1 and the following charges will appy:

Service charge: daily R2.50 and Energy Charge c/kWh R 47.38

Power is generated from Nuclear Power Station at Koeberg which is situated 25 km north of Blouberg. Unfortunately the power management is not up to standard which brought several blackouts with following load shedding to many residential areas of Cape Town.

Moving List Advice: For information on load shedding and schedules click load shedding here.

For general enquiries regarding electricity services: 0800 220 440

Alternative Energy – Rebates on Solar Water Heating

The installation of solar power for heating of water has recently become subsidized. If you buy a house consider an installation (between R12,000 and R20,000) even if it will be paid off in five to eight years.

You will save up to 30% of your monthly electricity costs when you use solar panels to heat your water. Your house value will increase relating to this innovation too. And even when there are power cuts you still can have hot water as the sun shines here most of the days.

To find out more about Solar Water Heating go to Eskom’s website and find there also a supplier list, who will offer you the rebates. Check out their electricity savings offers.

Waste and Garbage Removal

Garbage Collection is done once weekly in Cape Town. Most people put all the household waste into the black “wheelie” bin without considering the recycling drop-off facilities which are also available in Cape Town.

Your monthly council bill which charges the water rates also includes the sewerage, the refuse removal and the property rates. The property rates however will be the landlords responsibility and tenants need not pay them.

Recycling:

Currently a higher awareness to the recycling issue has become noticeable. But recycling is not imperative here like in many European countries.

At the end of 2007 Cape Town started a recycling project in five housing areas around town where residents are asked to separate their rubbish and fill clear bags with dry recyclable waste which will be collected together with the household at the normal collection dates.

The areas which are offering the recycling facilities are amongst others Hout Bay, Kommetjie at the Atlantic Seabord and Blouberg, Parklands and Melkbosstrand at the West Coast and the Helderberg towns of Gordons Bay and Somerset West

But everybody else can do their bit too and put glass into the glass containers which are available at many of the bigger shopping centres.

Newspapers are also collected at several sites. Many schools and churches also join in the recycling efforts and collect you old papers and so get pocket money from Mondi, a local collector company of the paper industry.

Garden refuse mostly is collected by your garden service should you use one. Otherwise there are various collection sites/tips all around Cape Town.

There are free community drop-off facilities also for plastics and other recyclable goods. To find the nearest drop-off facility please check the listing of recycling facilities.

Important Moving List Advice: You should be careful what you put in the bin as in most streets the garbage is rummaged by brigades of the “trolley army”, i.e. poor desperate people looking for recyclable goods likes cans and metal but unfortunately there is also a risk that your rubbish will be checked for hints regarding your lifestyle which can lead in the worst case to crime as personality fraud or housebreaking.

Armed Response and Security Companies

One of every expatriate’s major concerns is the security in your housing area.

So in your moving list you should also include to get in contact with a reputable Armed Response Company. There are several bigger companies offering security services like ADT, Chubb, Star Alarms and many more.

Check in your new neighborhood which armed response team your neighbors use. The security companies displays on the walls and fences are visible and act mainly as a deterrent. So the more signs of one company you see in your housing area the more frequently their response and surveillance teams will patrol this area. The more clients use their services, the more support you will get. The same goes for Neighborhood Watches, who patrol the estates on foot, by bike or car.

Important Moving List Advice: Get informed about your area and join, it will be for your own safety.

Telecommunications

Telkom is the main telephone and internet provider in South Africa. Check out their services and prices on the Telkom website.

Important Moving List Advice: When moving services be aware of fraudulent practices and change your internet/modem passwords right away when you get your service installed.

Do not hesitate to contact the police and file a claim in case you get told by Telkom that somebody hacked into your system. Get a case number from them should disputes arise. Our case got solved even if it took them one year to find the hacker.

TV and Radio Services

There are five local television channels: SABC 1, 2, and 3, M-Net and e.tv, which provide English, Afrikaans programs and news in other local languages. You can connect to satellite services which are available through Multichoice/DStv or Deukom.

DStv also provide more than 80 TV channels and 40 audio channels in different bouquets like Sports and Movie channels, CNN, BBC, SKY as well as Indian and Portuguese bouquets.

The price range for these bouquets are between R139 (26 channels) and R469 (80 channels) per month. Check the DStv site for more information.

Deukom is a provider for German Television channels. They offer transmissions of 7 German TV channels: ARD, ZDF, 3SAT, RTL, SAT1, PRO7 and Deutsche Welle programs and 3 Radio channels: Bayern1 and Bayern3 and Deutsche Welle.

This package costs R488 per month. An one off connection fee of R159 applies. Get more info on Deukom here.



I hope you find my moving list for getting connected with Cape Town utilities useful, comprehensive and easy to follow. Please watch this space for more info.

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