Illegal water users watched

2016-04-06 11:30

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Pietermaritzburg - Strict measures are being taken against citizens abusing their use of water during the crippling drought gripping the country.

The national Water and Sanitation Department issued a statement on Tuesday that said “firm action” would be taken against those “using water illegally”.

The province has been in the grip of a two-year drought worsened by the weather phenomenon El Nino, which has affected the weather patterns over South Africa where rainfall bearing systems literally move away and are replaced by a system not favourable for rainfall.

Last year KZN saw the driest year in 23 years, with dam levels dropping to all- time lows and high temperatures reaching well over 40 degrees.

Efforts to conserve water in the form of restrictions and cut-backs have been taken across the board, however, the department has said those ignoring restrictions would face grim consequences.

Department spokesperson Mbali Mahaye said in the statement that the drought had been “worsened” by some people “who are using water illegally”.

She said these residents were, in many cases, depriving legal water users of their share.

“The low rainfall and drought has created a situation of water scarcity in many areas of the country,” said the statement.

“The department is mandated to ensure that water users do not take more than their allocated share of water.

“The department will prosecute anyone who continues to use water illegally.”

The statement said the department had, however, seen many water users stop their illegal activities “immediately after being confronted with the hard evidence”.

“In the process of curtailing illegal water use the department has been supported by many people who came forward with information regarding illegal water use in their areas.”

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said yesterday that the municipality would be monitoring illegal water users by undertaking water balances on a monthly basis and further investigate consumers on an ad hoc basis.

She said there were currently no approved penalties for those abusing water usage and that the public should continue to report illegal water users directly to their call centre or whistle blowing hotline to be investigated.

She said the municipality had also been engaging with the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business and the hospitality sector to monitor and educate businesses who operate using a lot of water.


The Msunduzi Whistleblowers’ hotline number is: 080 100 0545 or you can e-mail msunduzihotline@

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  water

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