JOHANNESBURG– Johannesburg residents could soon be fined for failing to abide by new water restrictions, the City said on Tuesday. The restrictions are targeting domestic users who use more than 20,000 litres of water a month.
The new restrictions and penalties announced by member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for environment and infrastructure services, said Anthony Still, after the Department of Water and Sanitation decided to limit the abstraction of water for urban and irrigation purposes in the catchment areas of the dams supplying the Vaal River and Orange River systems. The introduced drastic measures included completely prohibiting the use of sprinklers and adding an additional levy on existing water restriction tariffs.
“We are bringing a rule that says you can’t use sprinklers at anytime, if you want to water your garden before 06:00 in the morning or night you must use a hosepipe or a bucket,” Still said.
Level 2 restrictions, which were introduced in November last year, included not using municipal water to wash cars. Residents who use between 20,000 and 30,000 litres of water, would face an additional 10 percent charge, and those who use between 30,000 and 40,000 litres would face an extra 20 percent fee. An ever higher tariff of 30 percent will be imposed for those with water usage above 40,000 litres.
Those who fail to abide by these restrictions may face fines from R1,000 to R1,500 for each offence, which would be added to their water bills. The City has been asked by Rand Water, which supplies them with bulk water, to reduce its water consumption by 15 percent.
“Water affairs at national level have triggered a drought action because the Vaal river system has dropped below 60 percent,” Still said.