Cut water usage or else, NMB metro warned

Municipality threatened with legal action or throttling of supply if it exceeds monthly limit

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has been threatened with forced water cuts and legal action in a scathing letter from the Water and Sanitation Department if the metro does not drastically reduce its water usage.

If the city continues to exceed its monthly allocation, its water supply will be throttled, according to the harshly worded letter from the Department of Water and Sanitation’s Eastern Cape head, Portia Makhanya.

She said the municipality had failed to cut 15% of its water consumption, despite this being gazetted two years ago.

And if it continued to do so, this would constitute a criminal offence.

Makhanya said the trend had continued unabated, in spite of at least four regulatory notices and directives – in March, April, May and June.

The municipality needs the council’s approval before it can implement punitive restrictions.

The next council meeting is scheduled for December 1.

In her letter addressed to acting city manager Johann Mettler, Makhanya wrote: “In each of these regulatory letters, it has been made clear that the failure to comply with the [National Water Act] is a criminal offence and the acting municipal manager is at risk of legal action.

“The metro continues to have high water losses and high non-revenue water, which negates and prevents good water management.

“The soft water restrictions approach, water loss reduction, water conservation and demand management and door-to-door visit initiatives are yet to show any significant improvement, let alone achieve the required 15% restriction demand required.”

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