Cape Town res­i­dents asked to re­port water waste

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -­stric­tions@ water. re­stric­tions@capetown.

THE CITY of Cape Town has ap­pealed to the pub­lic for help to en­sure ad­her­ence to level three water re­stric­tions. And a re­cent “water blitz” high­lighted the dif­fi­culty of catch­ing cul­prits with­out the help of res­i­dents, the city said yes­ter­day.

A team of 45 of­fi­cials from the city’s water in­spec­torate car­ried out a blitz op­er­a­tion in the Tyger­berg/Good­wood area last week. The blitz re­sulted in the is­su­ing of one fine to the value of R2 000 for hos­ing down con­crete sur­faces with potable water, City of Cape Town spokesper­son Priya Reddy said.

Of­fi­cers en­gaged a num­ber of res­i­dents on the im­por­tance of sav­ing water, pay­ing spe­cific at­ten­tion to houses with lush veg­e­ta­tion, and fol­lowed up on the re­ports of con­tra­ven­tions.

“The city is step­ping up its en­force­ment ef­forts, but it must be noted that water use en­force­ment is one part of the sub­stan­tial daily op­er­a­tions of the city, and a care­ful bal­anc­ing act of how we use our hu­man and other re­sources is vi­tal. Given that the city sup­plies water to close to a mil­lion cus­tomers and that most wastage oc­curs be­hind closed doors, we need res­i­dents to help us,” Reddy said.

The water in­spec­torate con­sisted of 45 of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing 20 new re­cruits from the Ex­panded Pub­lic Works Pro­gramme. The city called on res­i­dents to re­port water re­stric­tion con­tra­ven­tions via email to

Reg­u­lar blitz op­er­a­tions fo­cused on find­ing trans­gres­sions within a spe­cific area would con­tinue.

“Fur­ther to this, the city is de­vel­op­ing pro­ce­dures whereby ex­ces­sive water use can be iden­ti­fied. Once in place, we will fo­cus on these cus­tomers with ed­u­ca­tional ma­te­rial to as­sist in bring­ing their use to within ac­cept­able lev­els. Their prop­er­ties will also be listed for fu­ture in­spec­tions,” Reddy said.

Since the im­ple­men­ta­tion of water re­stric­tions, 383 no­tices of con­tra­ven­tions and 225 no­tices to ap­pear in court had been is­sued.

“In terms of polic­ing, con­tra­ven­tions could re­sult in a spot fine of up to R3 000, es­ca­lat­ing up to R10 000 on con­vic­tion, or even pos­si­ble jail time for se­ri­ous and re­peat of­fend­ers. Spot fines can only be is­sued if the res­i­dent is caught in the act. In other cases, a con­tra­ven­tion no­tice (ie warn­ing no­tice) will be is­sued.

“The fact that only one fine was is­sued by a team of 45 of­fi­cials shows the dif­fi­culty the city has in catch­ing trans­gres­sors. Given the im­men­sity of the task, en­force­ment will not be fully ef­fec­tive un­less res­i­dents come to the party by re­port­ing the con­tra­ven­tions they wit­ness, along with sup­port­ing ev­i­dence.

“Res­i­dents can also help by rais­ing aware­ness in their so­cial cir­cles. It is only with the help of the pub­lic that we can en­sure that ev­ery­one falls in line and that our re­main­ing water is con­served,” Reddy said.

Res­i­dents who re­port con­tra­ven­tions to

with ev­i­dence of the con­tra­ven­tion would make the city’s en­force­ment more ef­fec­tive, she added. – ANA

WASTAGE: A team of 45 of­fi­cials from the city’s water in­spec­torate car­ried out a blitz op­er­a­tion in the Tyger­berg/Good­wood area this week. The blitz re­sulted in the is­su­ing of a R2 000 fine to a con­sumer for hos­ing down con­crete sur­faces with potable water.

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