10 October 2016

On 13 September this year, at this very same venue, my colleague, Cllr Darryl Moss, and the head of Water and Sanitation, Stephens Notoane, announced steps the City of Tshwane intended taking to save water. This followed a National Department of Water and Sanitation notice in the Government Gazette of 12 August compelling municipalities that draw water from the Vaal Integrated River System to reduce water consumption by 15%.

On 6 October, Rand Water, our main source of water supply, also called on municipalities across Gauteng to reduce the supply of water by 15% or face the prospect of a complete system crush as dam levels continued to dwindle to unprecedented levels.

According to Rand Water, water reduction had regressed to a disappointing 2,7% by 3 October. This was after the actual restrictions had started on 6 September. They detected that people were not saving the expected amount of water.

Tshwane’s water restrictions were in effect from 13 September and a drive was launched to inform residents of the restrictions and implore them to use water sparingly and –

·         not irrigate gardens with a hosepipe or sprinkler between 06:00 and 18:00 (you are only allowed to do so between 18:00 and 22:00);
·         not wash vehicles with hosepipes (only use buckets) and not fill swimming pools;
·         not irrigate golf courses with municipal water; and
·         not irrigate municipal parks and road islands.

It has become patently clear that some of our customers have failed to heed our humble request to use water sparingly. Hence we have begun to implement technical interventions that would enable us to meet the 15% water reduction set by the National Department of Water and Sanitation and Rand Water.

These interventions, under the theme “Thiba Komelelo” (stop the drought), have begun in earnest, and will entail, inter alia, the following measures:

·         Throttle the water supply system by partially closing main water outlet valves at reservoirs, so that flow is restricted and reservoirs can maintain good levels;
·         Throttle the main water network pipes to restrict flow;
·         Implement scheduled water shedding;
·         Install flow restrictors for high water consumers/users;
·         Reduce water pressures in low-lying areas, where possible;
·         Restrict water supply to residential complexes and businesses (where pressure allows);
·         Restrict water supply to retirement villages;
·         Reinforce maintenance teams to curb pipe bursts and water leaks;
·         Recruit more learners from Rand Water and the National Department of Water and Sanitation to strengthen maintenance and war-on-leaks teams;
·         Create a forum to engage with the top 100 water users;
·         Create a dedicated telephone line at customer care centres to report water leaks; and
·         Create an SMS to report water leaks and pipe bursts.
We will also intensify our community awareness campaigns, fully implement the communication strategy and encourage the communities to name and shame offenders. Moreover, we will encourage ward councillors to urgently engage with their respective communities about the measures we have begun to implement.
We have been left with no choice, but to implement these measures, failing which we would be facing the prospect of our taps running dry.


13 September 2016

The National Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) published a notice in the Government Gazette, Notice 910 of 12 August 2016, stating that drawing water from the Integrated Vaal River System should be limited.

The limitation for taking drawing water from the Vaal River System by urban and irrigation users are as follows:

  • 15% of curtailment on urban water use in the afore-mentioned areas;
  • 20% of curtailment on irrigation water use in the aforementioned areas; and,
  • The limitation applies from the date of this notice until further notice.

This briefing is intended to inform the public and other stakeholders of the measures we are putting in place to conserve water and to manage increased demand through water restrictions, and to manage water shortage due to drought, heat waves and other seasonal changes.

The City of Tshwane is therefore obliged to comply with the notice and reduce its water consumption by 15%. We receive 72 % of our bulk water from Rand Water, but we also source 28% of our water from our own treatment plants and boreholes.

Last year, at the height of the heat wave that gripped the country, we implemented water restrictions in terms of Clause 19 of the Water Supply By-Law, Notice 468 of 24 July 2014. The restrictions specifically applied to the following:

  • Watering/irrigating gardens with a hosepipe or sprinkler from 06h00 to 18h00;
  • Washing of vehicles with hosepipes; and
  • Filling of swimming pools

The same above restrictions which were implemented last year will apply with immediate effect from today. The City of Tshwane’s Water Supply By-Law states, inter alia, that:

The Municipality may by public notice-

(a)  Prohibit or restrict the consumption of water in the whole or in part of its area of jurisdiction –

(i)              In general or for specified purposes;

(ii)             During specified hours of the day or on specified days; and

(iii)           In a specified manner

We urge all our consumers to join us in making efforts to reduce the water consumption. Should the consumers not adhere to the restrictions as imposed by the National Department of Water & Sanitation as well as Rand Water, then the situation will worsen and consumers will be without water for longer periods. Furthermore, if the situation does not improve, then the City will be forced to introduce the following stringent measures:

  • Increased tariffs
  • Increased policing
  • Water shedding

All consumers are urged to adhere to the restrictions and use water sparingly.

Consumers are also encouraged to use water saving tips that are distributed through flyers and through the City’s various communication platforms.

The City of Tshwane appreciates your cooperation in this regard. Furthermore, the City apologises for the inconvenience caused.

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