Capetonians head for local brewery in droves – for some water


The type of drink they are after however‚ is fresh mountain flowing H2O from a spring at the brewery and not the tipple the famous brewery is usually associated with.

Recent water shortages caused by drought in the Western Cape and other parts of the country‚ has seen many people looking for alternative water sources. Water restrictions in the City of Cape Town matched with fines for those who didn’t comply‚ led more and more people to seek ways to supplement their home water usage.

And the free spring water found at the brewery in Newlands‚ which runs down into the suburb from Table Mountain‚ is where many are choosing to go.

Carol King from Rugby‚ who has been collecting water in Newlands for two years‚ said that there had been a big increase in people coming to the spring to collect water‚ and that weekends were so busy that she completely avoided going then.

Fourth-timer Cedrick Williams‚ from Southfield‚ said that even though he had not been collecting water from the spring for a long time‚ he still noticed more and more people arriving to fill containers.

“I started collecting water recently here because of the water shortage‚” said Williams.

“We use it at home for coffee or tea and for washing up. I usually collect around 50 litres which supplements most of my home usage.

“There’s been much more people coming‚ and lots of people with more containers. Before it was just five or 10 litres [but] now they’re coming with 25 litres – and truckloads of the stuff.”

The brewery‚ which was the first in the country‚ was built there because of the spring‚ and the water is used to make the beer.

SAB spokeswoman Robyn Chalmers said that between April and December 2016 a total of 31‚000 people collected water from the spring. On average‚ the amount taken per person was between 20-50 litres of water.

“Newlands Brewery provides free access to the spring water at the brewery and a recent survey indicated that more than 1‚000 people per week collect water from this point‚” Chalmers said.

“The majority of water used by SAB’s Newlands Brewery to produce its beers comes from the Newlands Spring‚ with only about 2% of the water used by the brewery coming from the municipality.”

Meanwhile one of the country’s top schools‚ Westerford High School in Rondebosch‚ has cut their water bill enormously after striking a deal with a neigbouring company.

According to one of the teachers‚ Anthony Cain‚ to prevent the company’s parking garages from flooding‚ pumped thousands of litres of ground water into the Liesbeek River. But in exchange for using the school’s squash courts the company pumps the water into the school’s reservoir.

The agreement is not new but the reservoir was upgraded last year and can take much more water.

“We use the water for flushing toilets and watering our fields‚” said Cain.

“The saving has been used and of great benefit to the school.”

The water they cannot use is pumped into the river.

Level 3B water restrictions officially started in the City of Cape Town on Wednesday‚ as dam levels stood at just above 39% compared to 79% in 2013.

Reports said that suburbs in the municipality that were the highest consumers of water included Athlone‚ Newfields‚ Manenberg‚ Constantia‚ Lansdowne‚ Somerset West and Kraaifontein.

-TMG Digital/TimesLIVE

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