STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS, WATER AND WASTE SERVICES; AND ENERGY, COUNCILLOR XANTHEA LIMBERG
The City of Cape Town will be installing water management devices on the properties of all excessive water users, irrespective of the reason for the high usage, as has been the case to date. This new measure is part of the City’s efforts to immediately drive down consumption to 500 million litres per day of collective usage. It also signals the severity of the situation.
The winter rainfall season, the lowest on record, is now effectively over. While the City brings online new non-surface water options to supplement surface water from dams, the single most important action that still needs to be prioritised is reducing consumption.
There are currently more than 50 000 identified excessive usage properties across the metro. High users are regarded as those generally using more than 20 000 litres per month and this is also in line with the new Level 5 restrictions which will penalise those using more than this volume. The City will aim to install approximately 2 000 water management devices per week over the short-term. This comprises high users in the indigent and non-indigent categories. The processes guiding indigent persons will be followed. The City will start at the highest users and move downwards according to consumption records for those properties.
Where excessive usage cannot be justified, water management devices are already being installed. Existing excessive users have been engaged with already and new identified excessive users will receive warning letters as has been the practice.
All devices installed on high user connections will be set at 350 litres per day.
It must be emphasised that a process for representation to justify high usage may be made by the consumer in certain events, such as that the household comprises significantly more than four persons. The 87-litre per person limit remains in place. The request will entail the device to be set to 87 litres multiplied by the number of confirmed residents who permanently reside on the property. This application will be done through submitting an affidavit available as part of the process. Please visit http://cct.gov.za/G0gaJ for more information.
This latest intervention is part of the City’s broader drought management efforts, which include the implementation of Level 5 water restrictions, ongoing aggressive pressure management initiatives and enhanced enforcement operations. existing installation of water management devices to bring down consumption. The procurement processes for various projects under the emergency supply programme is under way. The latter actions form part of the approach to building water resilience over the short- to medium-term.
The City is also finalising its comprehensive operational contingency plan in the event that dam levels decline to below 15% of dam storage levels. This plan will be finalised by the end of September 2017 as has been communicated before. Details will be communicated early in October 2017.
In order to get through as much of the expected harsh summer ahead, consumption must be reduced to 500 million litres per day. This target has been in place since 1 July 2017. But, as at Monday 18 September 2017, consumption was 624 million litres per day.
We thank those who have been saving diligently. But we do need to act further against delinquent users who show a flagrant disregard for Team Cape Town.
I want to assure all residents that we will move mountains to ensure that we survive the drought and thrive. We have the expertise, vision, commitment and top-notch operational and management practices that have been established over the years and that make this metro a leader in South Africa.
Addressing the lack of water in our system can only be done if all residents collectively contribute to help us to mitigate this crisis. As a City, we will do whatever it takes to get through this great challenge. We will act within the confines of the law and not erratically and we will use all of our powers and responsibilities in accordance with our disaster status.
Again, getting through this unprecedented drought is our priority.
For information on how to meet the 87-litre per day usage requirement, residents should please visit the water restrictions page on the City’s website: www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater and utilise our water calculator: http://bit.ly/ThinkWaterCalculatorCT
Residents can contact the City via email to firstname.lastname@example.org for queries about the water pressure reduction, or to report contraventions of the water restrictions (evidence should be provided to assist the City’s enforcement efforts), or they can send an SMS to 31373.
Please note that normal supply could be disrupted in order to lower demand. This is part of the aggressive pressure reduction programmes in place which are set to be intensified.
Water supplied by the City remains safe to drink and is tested in accordance with safety standards.