City issues fines against water contraveners

The City of Cape Town issued 36 fines for contraventions of Level 3B water restrictions across the city last week.

In a statement, the City said “bad apples” were ruining the efforts of many water-savers.

“During this time of drought, we have appealed to all residents, businesses, and government departments to work with the City to conserve water. Reducing consumption is the key intervention during a time of drought as international best practice shows,” the statement said.

The City said it was continuing to monitor the water usage of the top 20 000 high water consumers in formal residences as well as commercial, industrial, and government properties in all suburbs.

“No one is escaping our efforts to see to it that consumption is reduced voluntarily, or forcibly if required. We have such great water ambassadors in every suburb, but we have many rotten apples as well who are spoiling all of our efforts,” said mayor Patricia de Lille.

The fines ranged from R500 to R2 000 and were issued in the following areas in the northern suburbs:

Van der Heever Street, Kuils River

Barnard Street, Bellville

Vasco Boulevard, Vasco

Voortrekker Road, Parow

Cambridge Street, Plattekloof

A car dealership in Voortrekker Road, Bellville

These fines were issued for various contraventions, including: using potable water to wash a vehicle; washing down hard surfaces with a hosepipe; irrigating without permission and outside designated times for garden watering; use of a sprinkler; and water wastage, such as leaking taps and pipes and overflowing hot-water cylinders.

Ms De Lille said it was unacceptable that people were still flouting water restrictions.

“This is unlawful.This abuse of water means that we will all suffer,” she said.

In terms of naming water abusers, the City will only publish the identities of residents or commercial properties once they have paid a fine or once they have appeared in court in for transgressing Level 3B restrictions.

“There are many residents and businesses who are doing their utmost to save water, and we thank them for their efforts. If we all work together, we can manage the drought crisis in a collaborative manner even better,” said Ms De Lille.

Meanwhile, the City says it has implemented drastic water-saving measures, including: not watering vegetation in parks; issuing strict directives for the use of only non-potable water in cases where vegetation must be watered for essential purposes; and shutting off the water supplied to fountains. Furthermore, 270 special exemptions have been revoked, and the City is reviewing Level 3 special exemptions, which include large single residential units, body corporates, homeowners’ associations and estates.

Email water.restrictions@capetown.gov.za for queries or to report contraventions (evidence should be provided) or SMS 31373. Visit www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater for more information.