The City of Cape Town’s law enforcement department is on the lookout for residents and businesses who violate bylaws that protect the city’s dwindling supply of drinking water.
Speaking to Cape Talk on Friday morning, Director of Law Enforcement, Robbie Roberts said the department has targeted all areas, rich or poor, where water abuse is detected.
“Since the introduction of the water restrictions in Cape Town we have assisted the Department of Water and Sanitation with clamping down water abusers in various areas. From yesterday we stepped up our game. We are clamping down on all illegal users of water,” Roberts said. “Our operations include working with the police and the Blue Scorpions and water inspectors. So, it was really an integrated approach. We’re not only targeting poor areas. We have also targeted Bishops Court, Deep River and Durbanville too.”
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From February 1 Cape Town will implement Level 6B water restrictions which compels residents to use 50 litres or less of water per day per person. The regions dams remain critically low, at 27% as day Zero approaches on 12 April, when the city’s taps will be shut off, forcing residents to queue for water.
“We are looking out for the misuse and abuse of water. We are looking at people watering their gardens, illegal car washes and complaints from people regarding the misuse and abuse of water. We are also monitoring Facebook and WhatsApp with regards to information from the public,” he said. “We do follow up on all those complaints.”
Roberts said water abusers receive a fine in terms of Section 56 where they will be required to pay a fine of between R500 up to R3000 or appear in court. He residents who have unregistered boreholes will also be fined if they don’t comply. “Fortunately we have a database of all applications we’ve received and we will monitor those, but we also want information from the public.