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STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S EXECUTIVE MAYOR, PATRICIA DE LILLE

As of Monday 20 February 2017, the identities of all customers who pay admission-of-guilt fines or who appear in court regarding contravention of Level 3B water restrictions will be made public by the City of Cape Town.

The City will also publish the lists of fines issued in various areas where contraventions take place, including street names but without street numbers.

Similarly, street names of the top 100 highest consumers for each category of domestic, commercial, and government user who are under investigation for contravening the water restrictions will be published, along with the water meter reading.

We will also be writing to these customers demanding that they provide the City with an explanation for their relatively high water use. Our investigations will continue should no satisfactory explanation be given.

In light of the current water crisis, today 16 February 2017, along with the four area-based mayoral committee members, I started delivering warning notices to some of the households which we have identified in Pinelands with high water consumption.

It must be noted that all suburbs across the city have customers with high water usage, and the four area-based mayoral committee members will also be going around to various high consumption properties in their areas.

Since the implementation of water restrictions, the City’s Water and Sanitation Management Department has identified 20 000 residential consumers with high water consumption as well as commercial customers and government departments.

Out of the one million customers we provide with formal metered water connections, these formal households have been identified as having excessive use of over 50 000 litres per month. This is unacceptable and I am making it my mission to engage with these customers so that they adhere to Level 3B restrictions as their abuse of water means that we all will suffer.

Today I visited a number of households in Pinelands whose consumption at certain points over the past 12 months ranged from 55 000 to 159 000 litres.

I hand-delivered letters warning these residents of their high consumption and warned them to reduce their consumption immediately to around 20 000 litres per month or lower.

We will continue monitoring these high consumption properties and, if they fail to reduce consumption voluntarily, the installation of water management devices will be considered. This will assist households, businesses and other users with more efficiently managing their water consumption and also result in financial savings.

I also visited the local shopping mall in Pinelands where the consumption has decreased steadily over the past year and thanked them for using water sparingly. The mall has implemented a number of water conservation measures and all tenants in the mall have complied with the call to reduce consumption. We also engaged with some residents at the mall and urged them to continue working with the City to save water.

The City also continues to step up enforcement of Level 3B restrictions with our teams conducting regular operations and issuing fines to those flouting water restriction regulations.

In the coming weeks, we will continue our operations in all areas to bring the highest consumers to book.

With our dam levels now at 36,2% (effectively at 26,2% as the last 10% is not useable), we need all residents but especially these high consumption customers to drastically cut their water usage.

The City’s overall usage target of 800 million litres of collective use per day has not been met for the past few weeks and as a result we need to intensify our efforts to save more.

We have now reduced the daily overall consumption to target to 700 million litres of collective use per day.

By reducing consumption to 700 million litres of collective use per day, and at the current draw-down rate on dams, we could be looking at approximately 135 days of useable water left.

We are also monitoring commercial, industrial, and government properties whose consumption is viewed as high based on their accounts over the past 12 months.

Over the past three weeks I have started personally calling the commercial customers with high consumption, the Executive Deputy Mayor, Alderman Ian Neilson, is engaging with industrial properties with high consumption, and the City is engaging with the various government departments whose consumption is viewed as high.

It must be emphasised that reducing consumption now remains the absolute key intervention and contingency measure that can be adopted at this stage and going forward.

Cape Town lies in water-scarce region and we need to manage this drought crisis by working together to save water while there is still water to be saved.

I would like to thank all residents, businesses, and government departments who are already doing their part to save water, but more needs to be done to preserve our water resources and we call on everyone to work with us as we manage the water shortage crisis.

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