South Africa: Water and Sanitation Conducts Joint Operation Blitz With City of Cape Town

press release

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) today conducted a joint blitz operation with the City of Cape Town focusing on unlawful water activities in Mfuleni area, within the Metro. The focus of the operation was to address all current water contraventions and compliance to the water restrictions particularly targeting informal carwashes.

In terms of the City's level 6B restrictions, municipal potable water cannot be used for carwashes.

Informal carwashes consume a lot of water; a number of carwash owners use stand pipes to run their businesses, and others use water from their taps.

DWS partnered with the City of Cape Town as part of the efforts to relieve the drought within the municipality. The Western Cape Province is experiencing the worst drought in a decade, forcing the authorities to put stringent measures to prolong what could be regarded as a probable Day Zero. This is done together to ensure that the restricted allocation of 87 liters of water per person per day is adhered to.

To ensure compliance, the City of Cape Town brought in the Law Enforcement team and Special Investigating Unit, while the department brought in Enforcement officials (Blue Scorpions). During today's activities, several fines were issued mostly for using municipal drinking water at informal carwashes without special exemption.

On Wednesday the 24th of January, the DWS conducted compliance monitoring on farms in the Malmesbury and Tulbagh areas. The monitoring concentrated on all water related activities with particular emphasis on activities that would have been allowed as per the water use licences received, ensuring correct amounts are abstracted from the correct abstraction points, and that effluent that is discharged back into the environment and resources is within the prescribed norms and standards. There was also interest on possible illegal diversions and illegal dams.

The enforcement and monitoring blitz conducted by the DWS is also a means of verifying the lawful water access while ensuring that water users adhere to current water restrictions gazzetted and published recently. This activity forms part of national government's initiatives to support the Western Cape to ensure that taps do not run dry.

Issued by: Department of Water and Sanitation

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