Pretoria – Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga on Monday urged residents to adhere to the new water usage restrictions announced by the municipality, warning that the capital city could be heading for disaster if the consumption was not arrested.
“We will now be intensifying the community awareness. This campaign, the “Thiba Komelelo” [Stop the drought] campaign is now going to be rolled out in all our areas. People need to be aware of what lies ahead and what we all need to do in order to avert a catastrophe that might happen if we don’t really do all we can,” Msimanga told reporters at a media briefing.
Msimanga said while the city had not started cutting water supply to residents, “water shedding” could be on the cards.
“Unfortunately, it’s going to come to a point where we might be implementing water shedding. But we will not be implementing water shedding without communicating to our residents regarding which areas are going to be affected. That is not something we’re planning to do immediately but we are going to be controlled by whether people adhere to the restrictions and whether we can curb the wastage that is currently there,” said Msimanga.
“We will also going to put flow restrictors to high water consumer areas. Those who are notorious for using a lot of water, where possible, we will be putting the flow restrictors. We will be starting in earnest this week with that installation [of flow restrictors] to ensure that we can have water for everybody.”
The municipality will now also be reducing water supply to businesses and residential complexes “where there seems to be water wastage”.
“We will also be reducing the flow to retirement villages, where possible. They are being seen as big offenders of watering during the day. We are also looking to ensure that we are able to curb that problem around them,” said Msimanga.
Earlier this month, Rand Water, Tshwane’s main source of water, instructed municipalities across Gauteng to cut their water usage by 15 percent or face the prospect of a complete system crash as dam levels continue to dwindle to unprecedented levels.
On Monday, Msimanga said Tshwane would now be deploying teams from Rand Water and the municipality to speedily track down and fix water leakages and burst pipes.
“We have so far been dealing with up to 50 000 leakages that we are now starting to address in earnest. We are also putting a response so that when you call and report a leakage, it will be prioritised,” he said.
Tshwane has appealed to residents not to irrigate gardens with a hosepipe or sprinkler between 6am and 6pm, to avoid washing vehicles with hosepipes, and to also avoid filling swimming pools under the current circumstances.