You didn't listen: Now Metro to consider punitive measures as taps could run dry

NOVEMBER 30, 2016

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Council will consider the implementation of punitive water restrictions at a full sitting of its Council on Thursday as calls for water conservation were not sufficiently heeded.

Councillor Annette Lovemore, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Infrastructure and Engineering, said: “We will be tabling an item on Thursday in council to impose in the Metro punitive water restrictions. Thus far, we have asked people to save water. For the last three months, we have made this call.

“We need to save 50 million liters of water a day. That did not happen as we saved in the region of 30 million liters a day. We saved, but it is certainly not enough.

“Our dams are getting emptier all the time and with the heat and not enough rain. So, we have no other option to say that we will keep on encourage people to save. However, we will have to punish you. It will not affect the poorest of the poor. It will affect the wealthier who can afford to use more water. They will feel it in their pockets,” she said.

Lovemore made this call during a media briefing where officials and Executive Mayor Athol Trollip addressed the media to encourage residents urgently cut down on water usage.

Mayor Trollip emphasized the clarion call for efficient water usage.

“Our water is running out. We do not have rain. We have summer months ahead of us and we will not get a lot of rain. Our water resources are getting lesser and lesser. Like is says on the pamphlet, ‘Play your part, be water smart’. We must take responsibility for our water resources and how we manage it. Water does not come from a tap, it comes from the heavens,” Mayor Trollip cautioned.

Residents are advised that the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality bulk supply reservoirs dropped below 30% and if water usage is not restricted to essential use, taps in higher lying areas such as Rowallan Park, Lorraine, Sherwood, KwaNobuhle and Westering could be affected first.

Lovemore encourages residents to continue to report water leaks.

“We are receiving approximately 3 000 complaints every month at our 24 hour complaints centre. For that we are grateful and we encourage residents to keep reporting those leaks because if we don’t know where those leaks are, we cannot tend to them.

“However if we know where they are, we can certainly take action. I want you to be aware and just know that we are certainly taking action from the municipality’s part. Having said that, we are fully aware that the action we can take is certainly not enough at this stage.

“We don’t have enough plumbers. We don’t have enough people in charge, but we are doing something about it. We advertised for plumbers, took on an additional seven plumbers and two new superintendents in the water distribution section. So we are working on this all the time. One of the main purposes of today is to tell you that contrary to perception there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes. We have very good people, doing a very good job under very difficult circumstances," she added.

Call 0800 20 50 50 (free from a landline) to report water leaks and abuse.