Car washers‚ shops fined for flouting water curbs
Barely two days after being fined and closed‚ a shop selling illegally bottled municipal water was back in business‚ flouting the law in Cape Town.
Authorities are clamping down on residents who ignore stringent new water restrictions introduced by the city as of February 1.
The level 6b restrictions limit residents to using 50 litres of water or less per person‚ per day‚ whether at home‚ work‚ school or elsewhere. Washing cars with municipal water is forbidden.
Law enforcement spokesman Wayne Dyason said there had been a crackdown on transgressions by informal car washers.
“We are also getting people selling municipal water in shops. We have a lot of cases of home owners also being charged for not adhering to water restrictions‚” he said.
Over the past week 121 fines were issued with a combined value of R304‚000 and more than 100 items used for car washing were confiscated.
“A shop selling illegally bottled municipal water that was issued two fines on Friday and closed was again caught trading on Sunday. The shop was given two fines and closed again. Officers will ask the water and sanitation department to consider suspending the shop's water supply‚” said Dyason.
City officials confiscated buckets and hoses and visited construction sites on Friday. Fines worth R4‚000 were handed out on the first day of the new restrictions.
“In the Noordhoek area officers came across a spring where the water had been diverted to fill a 2‚500 liter container. This is apparently sold for between R1‚600 and R2‚500. The case will be handed over to the Provincial Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Directorate for further investigation‚” said Dyason.
He said that a similar incident was discovered in Constantia‚ where water was being diverted from a small river.
“There are many reported cases of water being illegally pumped from vleis and rivers and the city along with its provincial and national enforcement counterparts will investigate and action each reported case.”
Bloomberg reported on Friday that residents and farmers had drastically cut down on water consumption‚ pushing back Day Zero – the date when depleted dams will force the city to turn off most taps and require residents to get water from collection points.
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