D Day: Back to punitive water restrictions?

2016-12-01 06:00

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Council will consider the implementation of punitive water restrictions at a full sitting of its Council today as calls for water conservation were not sufficiently heeded.

Councillor Annette Lovemore, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Infrastructure and Engineering, said: “We will be tabling an item in council to impose punitive water restrictions in the metro. Thus far, we have asked people to save water. For the last three months, we have made this call.

“We need to save 50 million litres of water a day. That did not happen as we saved in the region of 30 million litres a day. We saved, but it is certainly not enough.

“Our dams are getting emptier all the time with the heat and not enough rain. So, we have no other option but to say that we will keep on encouraging people to save.

“However, we will have to punish you. It will not affect the poorest of the poor. It will affect the wealthier who can afford to use more water. They will feel it in their pockets,” she said.

Lovemore made this call during a media briefing where officials and Executive Mayor Athol Trollip addressed the media to encourage residents urgently to cut down on water usage.

Mayor Trollip emphasized the clarion call for efficient water usage.

“Our water is running out. We do not have rain. We have summer months ahead of us and we will not get a lot of rain. Our water resources are getting less and less. Like it says on the pamphlet, ‘Play your part, be water smart’.

“We must take responsibility for our water resources and how we manage them. Water does not come from a tap, it comes from the heavens,” Mayor Trollip cautioned.

Residents are advised that the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality bulk supply reservoirs dropped below 30% and if water usage is not restricted to essential use, taps in higher lying areas such as Rowallan Park, Lorraine, Sherwood, KwaNobuhle and Westering could be affected first.

Keep on reporting water leaks

Lovemore encourages residents to continue to report water leaks.

“We are receiving approximately 3 000 complaints every month at our 24 hour complaints centre. For that we are grateful and we encourage residents to keep reporting those leaks because if we don’t know where those leaks are, we cannot tend to them.

“However if we know where they are, we can certainly take action. I want you to be aware and just know that we are certainly taking action from the municipality’s part. Having said that, we are fully aware that the action we can take is certainly not enough at this stage.

Not enough plumbers

“We don’t have enough plumbers. We don’t have enough people in charge, but we are doing something about it. We advertised for plumbers, took on an additional seven plumbers and two new superintendents in the water distribution section. So we are working on this all the time.

“Contrary to perception there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes. We have very good people, doing a very good job under very difficult circumstances,” she added.

  • Call 0800 20 50 50 (free from a landline) to report water leaks and abuse.

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