Cape Town residents asked to report water waste
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.