Residents outraged by permit for roof cleaning
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.
The parking lot looked as if a rain shower had fallen.