City of Cape Town set to cash in on water restriction penalties

15 January 2017 - 18:17 By Aphiwe Deklerk
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

The City of Cape Town is set to coin it as its residents fail to adhere to imposed water restrictions imposed by the DA administration.

In reply to questions by The Times‚ the city said it had billed ratepayers over R33-million more than what they had expected for the months of November and December.

South Africa is currently facing a drought crisis leading to almost all the country’s metros having to enforce water restrictions as dams run dry.

The City of Cape Town imposed level three water restrictions on November 1 last year after it became clear that its dams did not get enough water in the winter rainy season.

For City of Cape Town residents‚ level three restrictions mean that they have to reduce their water usage by 30% or pay R 23.54 per kilo litre if they use more than 10.5 kl of water a month.

The normal rate is R18.24 for residents who adhere to the level three restrictions.

  • Dam shame, Cape TownDespite serious water restrictions Cape Town residents are still using too much.

City spokesman‚ Priya Reddy‚ said the city had billed residents an additional R1.51-million for November and a further R31.7-million in December.

The city is still to recover the money from ratepayers as some residents are taking longer to pay their accounts.

Said Reddy: “It also needs to be highlighted that the billed over-recovery is due to the fact that the city has not achieved the water savings targets‚ as some consumers are not reducing their consumption in line with Level 3 water restrictions‚ preferring rather to simply pay the higher rates.”

She said this indicated that many residents were still using potable water for less essential uses like watering gardens and filling pools.

“As such‚ the city will shortly be placing more stringent restrictions on these uses‚” she added.

In a statement on Sunday‚ Reddy said the city had added 20 new recruits from the Expanded Public Works Programme to carry out inspections related to the water restrictions.

“Since the implementation of water restrictions‚ 383 notices of contraventions and 225 notices to appear in court have been issued‚” she said.

  • No relaxing of water restrictions until at least MayThe Department of Water and Sanitation may take a decision on ending water restrictions for summer rainfall areas in May‚ but for now they will remain in place.

Graham Noble‚ Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance secretary‚ said it was a crisis if residents did not comply with water restrictions.

“I would say‚ they could even fine the residents and make the residents to act as policeman to one another‚ their neighbours‚” he said.

“It requires crisis management but they have to start to be acting responsible the city themselves ... both sides have to do something about it‚” he said‚ explaining that the city was not investing well in other available water sources.

- TMG Digital/The Times