War Against Water Abuse: Cape Town To Publicly Name And Shame Water Abusers


As a way of putting a good check  on water usage in the city, the City of Cape Town is set to release a new crackdown on water abusers starting on Monday

The city’s administration said it would release the identities of all customers who have been found guilty of contravention of Level 3B water restrictions.

This comes after the City said water consumption needed to decrease by more than 100 million litres per day, from the present 825 million litres average, to below 700 million litres to ensure sufficient supply.

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Mayor Patricia De Lille maintained that her administration is set to put a lasting stop to water wastage in the city’s capital. To put this in effect, most residents of Pinelands whose water use is up to eight times higher than average were visited by angry neighbours on Thursday

Mayor De Lille also handed in letters to households which have recently consumed between 55 000 and 159 000 litres a month, saying she warned them to reduce their consumption immediately to around 20 000 litres per month or lower.

“The identities of all customers who pay admission-of-guilt fines or who appear in court regarding contravention of level 3b water restrictions will be made public by the City of Cape Town, ” said De Lille

“The city will also publish the lists of fines issued in various areas where contraventions take place‚ including street names but without street numbers.

“Similarly‚ street names of the top 100 highest consumers for each category of domestic‚ commercial‚ and government user who are under investigation for contravening the water restrictions will be published‚ along with the water meter reading.”

Mayor Patricia de Lille’s spokesperson Zara Nicholson lamented how dams levels have continued to drop and yet residents have failed to comply to rule against water wastage.

“We are stepping up our efforts to save water; we are naming and shaming residents that don’t seem to care,” Nicholson told reporters pointing out that the decision to expose water rule defaulters was necessary following repeated offences by certain residents.

Cape Town metro usually uses about 65% of water supplied annually. While the agriculture sector is still irrigating, the metro accounts for 40% of the use.

Department of Water and Sanitation spokesperson Phetho Ntaba said that water restrictions had been introduced to farms in the region.

“Where necessary, water will be cut, or possible fines will be imposed by the water supply establishment,” Ntaba said.

Meanwhile, the Western Cape government says it is looking at taking major steps to curb a possible disaster by implementing long-term interventions for water security.

Following a study that shows that provincial water demands will exceed the current supply in 2019, government at the province said alongside provision for water security, the province plans to increase the water supply.

The population in the province is expected to grow by an estimated two million people over the next 15 to 20 years even as five municipalities in the province have been declared as disaster areas. These are Central Karoo, Witzenberg, Prince Albert, West Coast and Oudtshoorn.

Environmental affairs MEC Anton Bredell however, confirmed government’s move for more water supply saying the local government department has budgeted over R120 million towards additional interventions to alleviate water stress, which includes R60 million in fodder relief for the agriculture sector.

The Department of Water and Sanitation has on Monday, released a statement saying that dam levels are increasing at a slow place.

It says provincial dam levels have shown some improvements, with more than half showing an increase compared to last week.

• Eastern Cape increased from 56.9% to 58.2%
• Free State increased from 57.2% to 60.8%
• KwaZulu-Natal: slight increase from 47.1% to 47.9%
• Limpopo: up from 66.1% to 66.9%
• Gauteng: decreased from 86.7% to 86.3
• Northern Cape: up from 93.6% to 95%
• North West: noticeable increase from 73.8% to 78.1%
• Mpumalanga: slight decrease from 67.8% to 67.1%
• Western Cape has remained critically low, decreasing from 36.2% last week to 34.9% this week, still under 40%.

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The Western Cape System with six dams serving the City of Cape Town was at 36.9% last week but it went down to 35.7% this week. The system was at 43% around this time last year.