‘An unnecessary bureaucratic imposition’
THE P ROPOSED n e w Cap e Town City Council regulation, which could make it obligatory for home sellers to obtain clearance certificates on all the plumbing installations in their home, is a useless and expensive addition to an already heavy list of approvals that homeowners have to pen, says Tony Clarke, MD of Rawson Properties.
“It could be argued that the certificates required on electrical networks, gas installations and beetle-proofing are necessary because these matters are oft en not understood by homeowners or buyers, who may wel l no t r e c o g ni s e t he problems.
“Plumbing problems, however, are usually easily recognised.
“If they are in the structure they will probably leave damp stains. If they are elsewhere, t h e wat e r wi l l p r o b a b l y b e detected at some point, or the owner will notice a spike i n consumption.”
He says calling in a registered plumber to gain certification will add a fairly large sum to sellers’ expenses and this is likely to be added to by “absolutely essential” repair work that plumbers will say is needed before they can sign the certificates.
Clarke says any idea that this is what the public want is almost certainly false.
“F rom the council press release it appears that this proposal emanates from only one person. I am convinced the average seller or buyer would not see it as necessary.”
The proposed bill forms part of a larger body of legislation aimed at saving water.
“Long experience in property and the comments that I pick up on the radio and in the press indicate the big water losses are not in houses, but elsewhere such as reservoirs and pipelines.
“It is also clear that, whereas the council’s electricity department has a fine reputation for responding to e merg e n cy c a l l s, t h e wat e r department all too often ignores warnings that leaks have been located.
He says a water problem far more serious than that of household leaks, is that n a t i o n a l wat e r s o u r c e s a r e increasingly polluted.
“No one underestimates the challenge faced here, and there are huge difficulties caused by informal settlements, and agriculture, which makes use of phosphate fertilisers.
“The environment and the public have to be protected and a more determined effort to clean SA’s rivers, reservoirs and pipelines is now necessary,” says Clarke.