Re­si­dents out­ra­ged by per­mit for roof cle­a­ning

George Herald - - NEWS - A­li­da de Beer

The ma­na­ge­ment of St George’s S­qua­re has co­me un­der fi­re be­cau­se of a de­ci­si­on to cle­an the en­ti­re roof with high-pres­su­re wa­ter ho­ses w­hi­le wa­ter re­stricti­ons are in pla­ce.

T­his co­mes af­ter George Mu­ni­ci­pal Ma­na­ger Trevor Bo­tha re­cent­ly war­ned in a me­dia sta­te­ment t­hat the dam le­vel is drop­ping by an a­vera­ge of 1,7% per week and could re­ach 45% by the be­gin­ning of Au­gust.

T­his would trig­ger mo­re ri­gid wa­ter re­stricti­ons.

Lo­cal re­si­dent Mo­ni­ca Vac­ca­ro was fu­ri­ous w­hen she ar­ri­ved at the shop­ping cen­t­re on F­ri­day 21 Ju­ly and wit­nes­sed the a­mount of wa­ter in the par­king lot t­hat was run­ning from the roof. “The re­si­dents are sup­po­sed to be get­ting them­sel­ves in­to u­sing less wa­ter. And here I am at the C­hec­kers cen­t­re and the en­ti­re roof of the cen­t­re is being cle­a­ned up with po­wer ho­ses. Thou­sands and thou­sands of lit­res of wa­ter are going do­wn the roof and in­to the ground. On a mu­ni­ci­pal le­vel t­his should not be al­lo­wed.”

A­not­her re­si­dent who as­ked to re­main a­no­ny­mous said, “It seems as if the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty does not know w­he­re to draw the li­ne. Con­ces­si­ons are ma­de on­ly for cer­tain pe­op­le w­hi­le ot­hers ha­ve to ad­he­re ri­gid­ly to the re­stricti­ons.”

Ac­cor­ding to the cen­t­re main­te­nan­ce ma­na­ger, Alan Young, the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty is­su­ed a per­mit t­hat is va­lid until the end of Ju­ly and t­hey will the­re­fo­re be fi­nis­hing the cle­a­ning pro­ject. “We are, ho­we­ver, obtai­ning pri­ces for wa­ter tanks so t­hat we can ca­tch wa­ter and sa­ve on usa­ge.”

Young said he is not aut­ho­ri­sed to re­spond to the que­s­ti­on as to why the buil­ding has to be cle­a­ned at a ti­me t­hat wa­ter re­stricti­ons are in pla­ce. He re­fer­red the news­pa­per to Pie­ter Eras­mus from JHI (a pro­per­ty ser­vi­ces com­pa­ny ba­sed in Ca­pe To­wn) who acts as pro­ject ma­na­ger for St George’s S­qua­re. Eras­mus’s secretary re­fer­red us back to Young. The lat­ter pro­mi­sed to call back with a re­spon­se, which was not re­cei­ved.

George Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty’s com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on de­part­ment re­fer­red the news­pa­per to an ear­lier me­dia sta­te­ment (da­ted 5 Ju­ly) ac­cor­ding to which bu­si­nes­ses and in­di­vi­du­als can ap­ply for a con­ces­si­on, “but must un­der­stand t­hat it would on­ly be gran­ted un­der ex­cep­ti­o­nal ci­r­cum­stan­ces be­cau­se the re­stricti­ons are me­ant to dis­coura­ge the use of wa­ter for non-es­sen­ti­al pur­po­ses”.

The cur­rent wa­ter re­stricti­ons pro­hi­bit the cle­a­ning of any ex­te­ri­or sur­fa­ces with a wa­ter ho­se. Car wash bu­si­nes­ses are al­lo­wed to con­ti­nue u­sing ho­ses.

The re­si­dents are sup­po­sed to be get­ting them­sel­ves in­to u­sing less wa­ter.

The cle­a­ning of the St George’s S­qua­re buil­ding with pres­su­re ho­ses w­hi­le wa­ter re­stricti­ons are in pla­ce has so­me re­si­dents up in arms.

P­ho­tos: Mo­ni­ca Vac­ca­ro

The par­king lot look­ed as if a rain sho­wer had fal­len.

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