24 January 2017

South Africa: Cape Town Tightens Water Restrictions

Photo: The Herald
(file photo).

Pretoria — The City of Cape Town says it is preparing to take tougher action against residents who contravene water restrictions.

According to the latest statistics, dam levels have dropped to 40.4% as of 23 January 2017, while the average consumption is 80 million litres above the targeted 800 million litres of collective usage per day.

City's Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services and Energy, Xanthea Limberg, said it is clear that many Capetonians are going above and beyond the call of duty to reduce their water consumption.

However, others have seemingly chosen to ignore all of the conservation efforts to the detriment of Team Cape Town.

"Subject to approval by Council on Thursday 26 January 2017 of Level 3b water restrictions, the City's Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services Directorate, along with the Safety and Security Directorate, will be finalising plans for enforcement and education operations aimed at the city's top 20 000 water users.

"These users have been identified following an examination of the water metering data of the city's almost one million water customers. We will be able to start communicating with these high users imminently and advise them of punitive measures that might be taken, such as fines for transgressions or the implementation of water restriction devices, if we do not start to see a 20% reduction in their usage," said Limberg.

Limberg said that the vast majority of high users are households in formal residential areas, and have been identified as consuming 50 kilolitres per day.

Prior to the water restrictions coming into effect, Limberg said the average use per household used to be well under 1 000 litres per day or approximately 30 kilolitres per month.

"We plan to conduct increased door-to-door visits, issue more fines where applicable, put in water restriction devices if usage on properties continues to be high, and focus strongly on education and awareness.

"We'll work together with our peace officers, law enforcement officers, councillors and our newly appointed area-based mayoral committee members. It should be noted that this simply represents a starting point pertaining to the spectrum of customers whose usage is unacceptably high, and who the city will be contacting about their usage habits.

"Our approach to water supply and sustainability is a long-term one, with a planning horizon of 25 to 30 years, but the bottom line is that we are in a drought situation. Although we are following our well-established water conservation policies, reduced consumption is key," said Limberg.

For further information, residents can visit water restrictions page on the website: www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater. Customers can also contact the City via email to water.restrictions@capetown.gov.za for queries or to report contraventions.

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