Fines expected for Free State water wasters

2015-11-19 15:23
(File, iStock)

(File, iStock)

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Bloemfontein – Free State residents in certain municipalities will be fined anything between R2 000 to R20 000 if they are found wasting water during the province's current drought.

Moqhaka Local Municipality's spokesperson Champ Tloome said on Thursday that it was clamping down on water offenders.

Last week, the municipality became the first to institute water-shedding, leaving some communities with only a two-hour window period.

Residents would be fined R2 000 if they watered their gardens, washed their cars using hosepipes or even filled their pools during the current drought, he said.

The municipality includes areas such as Kroonstad, Maokeng, Steynsrus, Matlwangtlwang, Viljoenskroon and Rammulotsi.

"We are currently distributing posters across communities to alert residents to call our municipal security if they see any water offender," said Tloome.

The municipality's water network team also goes around communities to do random inspections.

"Our communities should understand that the pain affects everyone. If they decide to misuse water then it affects them financially – but we know they understand that we all have to save."

Tloome said the situation in Steynrus was particularly worrying.

"Steynrus doesn't have water at all and we are now drilling water from boreholes and also providing tanks for residents."

Groblers Dam at 0%

According to the municipality's water and sanitation supervisor, Makibinyane Xaba, during water-shedding they save 5 million litres per day.

"We have two dams that provide for our communities. The Groblers Dam which is now 0% and the Bloemhoek which has only 25 % water left. We are left with a month or less to supply communities with water if it doesn’t rain," Xaba said.

Meanwhile, at the Mangaung Metro Municipality spokesperson Qondile Khedama said they were working with communities to track down water offenders.

"We rely on members of the community to report water offenders, and we are already receiving calls from the communities already," he said.

The municipality said their fines went up to R20 000.

Khedama could not provide a number of the residents who had already been reported.

Members of the South African Police Service (Saps) would also be getting involved in the tracking down of water offenders, he said.

Khedama urged community members to call the municipality's call centre on 0800 111 300 if they spotted any water offenders. 

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  weather  |  drought

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