Cape’s tap-tightening looks watered-down compared with hardcore Jozi
Aphiwe Deklerk | 2017-01-26 18:37:56.0
Image by: Gallo Images/ Thinkstock
Tougher water curbs will hit Cape Town from next Thursday‚ but they don’t come close to Johannesburg’s militant approach.
Starting on Thursday night‚ parts of the city of gold will be without water from 8pm to 4am “until further notice”.
In an alert on its Facebook page‚ Johannesburg Water said reservoir outlet valves would be closed in a move to reduce “escalating water consumption”.
“The areas affected overnight would be areas around Deep South‚ Soweto‚ Central‚ Midrand‚ Sandton and Randburg‚” it said.
“Water levels at the Integrated Vaal River system have not risen sufficiently to above satisfactory level.”
Cape Town’s intensified restrictions look lily-livered in comparison‚ limiting garden watering to an hour a day on Tuesdays and Saturdays and banning car-washing with municipal water.
The restrictions were agreed on Thursday by the City of Cape Town council‚ but not before a debate in which the ANC proposed a ban on swimming pools and the ACDP called for curbs on “ornamental water fountains‚ water parks and water features”.
Grant Haskin of the ACDP also said extra revenue from punitive water tariffs should be used to educate residents about saving water and “for the installation of greywater devices and rainwater-harvesting devices at city owned facilities”.
The ruling DA‚ led by mayor Patricia De Lille‚ rejected the proposals‚ saying her party had not caucused on the matter.
De Lille warned that residents who ignore water restrictions may have their supply restricted‚ saying the plan to target the 20‚000 worst water guzzlers would involve “door-to-door visits‚ issuing more fines where applicable‚ and installing water-restriction devices if usage on properties continues to be high”.
Dam levels are at 40%‚ but in practical terms‚ De Lille said‚ the city’s dams were only 30% full “since we cannot extract the last 10%”.
With dam levels typically falling by two percentage points a week at the height of summer‚ this means that without savings the water will run out in about 105 days.
The ANC abstained from voting on the level 3b water restrictions but one of its councillors‚ Simpiwe Nonkeyizana‚ said: “We believe that swimming pools must be banned‚ it must not be voluntary.”