Ricochet News

Kouga Mayor again pleads with residents as restrictions ignored - water usage up 9%

Dec 23, 2016
Kouga Mayor again pleads with residents as restrictions ignored - water usage up 9%

In a statement on Thursday, Kouga Local Municipality Executive Mayor, Elza van Lingen, again appealed to local residents and visitors to save water in whichever way they can.

"We ask this because our region desperately needs to cut back its water usage by 15 % over the next three months. If we don’t, residents may end up having to pay more than double what they are paying for water now," the Mayor said.

"We know that this is a terrible time of the year to ask this. Water is the last thing anyone wants to worry about when on holiday. But the situation is serious."

She said that the Kouga Local Municipality receives most of its water from the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. 

The Kouga Local Municipality on the 15th of December approved the immediate imposition of water restrictions across the Kouga region. Affected towns include Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp, St Francis Bay, Cape St Francis, Oyster Bay, Patensie, Hankey, Loerie and Thornhill.

Before this new measure, the Executive Mayor had appealed to local residents to cut back on usage.

"We were recently mandated by the Metro to cut back this usage by 15% or they would start charging us more.

"Over the past month, however, our water purchases from the Metro have increased by almost nine percent," said van Lingen.

"Preliminary readings put our usage at 545 640kl for the period 18 November to 19 December 2016, compared to 485 470kl for the period 20 November to 18 December 2015.

"This means that instead of using 15% less water, we’ve been using 9% more.

"If this trend continues, there is a real risk that we might have to start implementing very steep water tariffs by April next year. These tariffs could see the price of water more than double for Kouga households."

She said that the Kouga Council will do all it can to avoid steeper tariffs, "but to succeed, we need everyone on board, saving water in whichever way we can".

"The Council would further like to thank everyone who is already making an effort to reduce water usage. We are also grateful to those who are helping to spread the message because they care about their communities. With your assistance, we can achieve what we’ve set out to do."

On Sunday, the municipality threatened to impose water shedding to Oyster Bay after residents apparently failed to heed calls to cut back on water usage.

In November, the Kouga Local Municipality Mayor said she was shocked when the municipality was slapped with a R46 million water bill from the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. Kouga gets its water from the Nelson Mandela Bay despite the latter's dams being in the Kouga area.

Water Restrictions

In terms of Section 4 of the Water Services Act 108 (No 108 of 1997) the following are prohibited:

1. The use of water obtained from the Municipality’s water supply system for:

(a) watering gardens, lawns, grassed areas, flower beds, racecourses, sports fields, bowling greens, golf greens and fairways, croquet lawns, turf wickets, ploughing fields and the like;

(b) topping up or filling fountains, ornamental ponds and the like;

(c) filling swimming and paddling pools;

(d) washing paved areas, walls, roofs, buildings and similar structures.

2. The use or operation of:

(a) hosepipes;

(b) sprinklers, sprinkler and drip systems;

(c) automatic swimming pool fillers;

(d) automatic urinal flushing systems;

(e) the connection of a hosepipe or any form of irrigation system to a tap supplying water from the Municipality’s water supply system unless for the purposes permitted in terms of this notice.

EXEMPTIONS

1. The use of reclaimed water or water obtained from sources other than the Municipality’s water supply system.

2. Watering gardens, lawns, grassed areas and flower beds by means of a hand held container.

3. The use or operation of a hose pipe or sprinkler system for fire fighting.

4. The filling of a new pool on completion of initial construction.

5. Commercial vehicle washing business where at least 70 % of the water is recycled. (Vehicle washing by means of a hand held container is permitted)

6. Watering of plants, trees and shrubs in commercial, state and municipal nurseries.

7. The filling of municipal swimming pools and swimming pools at hotels, fitness centres, medical care centres, schools, educational institutions and institutions of higher education.

8. The prohibitions contained in this notice shall not apply in any case specifically exempted, in writing, by the Director: Infrastructure, Planning and Development.

PLEASE NOTE

  • Notice boards must be prominently displayed where water from sources other than the Municipality’s water supply system is used for irrigation.
  • Land owners must notify the Infrastructure, Planning and Development Directorate in writing of the existence of boreholes on their property.
  • Land owners must apply to the Department of Water & Sanitation for the intention to sink boreholes and also notify Kouga Local Municipality.
  • All consumption must be reduced by at least 15% and failure to achieve this will result in Kouga Local Municipality being forced to impose stricter measure.
  • The contravention of this prohibition constitutes a criminal offence.

The Infrastructure, Planning and Development Director can be contacted at 042 200 2200 or email [email protected] or [email protected]