Cape Town beefs up water police – targets spot fines of up to R5,000

The City of Cape Town is set to get tough on water abuse as the Western Cape continues to suffer from its worst drought in a century.

The city is currently in discussion to increase fines after more stringent level 4 water restrictions came into effect on Thursday, while the city has also beefed up its water police, according to an EWN report.

Councillor and mayoral committee member, Xanthea Limberg, told the news agency that the city has employed additional staff for its water inspectorate.

“They will be going out and doing the enforcement. We are working on further capacitating our call centre and our water work team. That has been done and we have allocated initial staff there.”

The City of Cape Town advised residents that, in line with Level 4 restrictions, water pressure is being lowered further to the point where supply interruptions in higher-lying areas of the City’s supply zones will be experienced for short periods during the day.

Level 4 water restrictions include the following:

  • No irrigation/watering with municipal drinking water is allowed
  • Private swimming pools may not be topped up or filled with municipal drinking water, even if they have a cover
  • No washing of vehicles and boats with municipal water is allowed (commercial car washes may apply for an exemption which will only be granted if wash water is recycled or waterless products are used)
  • Water features may not use municipal drinking water
  • No hosing down of paved surfaces with municipal drinking water is allowed
  • Use of portable play pools is prohibited

Limberg called on residents to target water consumption to under 100 litres per person per day.

The city is in discussions with magistrates about increasing fines for violations in-line with the new restrictions. If you’re convicted of wasting water you could face a fine of up to R10,000.

Spot fines of up to R5,000 are also being discussed.

“Most of the fines have been increased from R0 and R2,000 to R1,000 and R3,000 to R5,000 respectively because of the severity of the situation at hand. The City hopes that the Magistrate will determine the fine schedules as suggested,” the city said.

Read: Cape Town water usage must come down by 100 million litres – city


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Cape Town beefs up water police – targets spot fines of up to R5,000