Nelson Mandela Bay residents will have to reduce their water usage by at least 15% as the council on Wednesday (31/08/16) approved water restrictions.
This is as the city is extracting too much water and not getting enough rain to fill up its catchment dams.
Punitive restrictions – which refers to extra levies charged for additional water consumed – will not be implemented by the municipality at this stage.
Softer restrictions will, instead, come into effect on Wednesday, which means that watering gardens, plants, golf greens and sports fields and washing vehicles with a hose pipe is banned.
Any residents or businesses found contravening the restrictions could be fined by the municipality or face legal action.
Meanwhile, at the heated council meeting – which saw the ANC and DA butting heads over the water restrictions, rules of council and finger-pointing – mayor Athol Trollip listed a number of priorities for his first 100 days in office.
They include hiring a permanent municipal manager and executive directors for safety and security and electricity and energy, as well as making a decision over the city’s beleagured IPTS bus system.
“In terms of the IPTS we must make decisions on its continuation. We will need to source budget through roll over allocations, identify routes, finalise a memorandum of understanding with stakeholders to ensure the currency of mandates and routes.
“With increasing traffic pressures and issues around access to public transport, transport continues to be a significant challenge for our community and this Metro.”
Trollip spoke about the city’s massive water leaks crisis, which sees hundreds of millions of rands lost annually due to water losses, saying more money had to be allocated toward constructing new infrastructure as opposed to repairing infrastructure.
“We are a water scarce city. 42% losses cannot continue. We must synchronise ‘war on leaks’ with ongoing training of plumbers and immediate deployment of plumbers into worst affected areas.
“Plumbers must be excellently managed to control leaks and maintain our infrastructure.
“Major leaks and antiquated bulk infrastructure must be evaluated and prioritisation of repairs must be rolled out.
“Best practice principles must be applied with maintenance and new construction at 60% and repair at 40% of budget.
“Continued over extraction of this precious resource will have a huge impact on jobs in neighbouring rural areas and compound already grave unemployment in the Platteland,” Trollip said.
Read more about the fireworks in the council meeting in The Herald tomorrow.