KwaZulu-Natal’s eThekwini municipality has warned all users to cut back on water use or face penalties.
The city announced on Tuesday that it was taking a hardline stance as the Midmar and Albert Falls dams, which service the bulk of eThekwini, take strain in what has been described as South Africa’s worst drought in decades.
Domestic users failing to reduce water use would be fined R500, while commercial and industrial consumers would be slapped with a R10 000 penalty for failing to reduce water consumption substantially after numerous requests.
Currently, the water levels of Midmar and Albert Falls dams were at 47% and 35% respectively, with the Department of Water and Sanitation instructing water use for the region to be slashed by 15%.
“The city’s executive committee approved penalties and fines to those who continue wasting water despite the city’s constant plea to save water. Noncompliance will be addressed individually,” warned eThekwini Water and Sanitation head Ednick Msweli.
Earlier this month, the municipality imposed additional water restrictions across the city and warned that water cuts would be implemented “to save the little water left” in the Umgeni water system.
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube issued a directive to all affected municipalities in the province to implement water restrictions to reduce water use by 15%.
“This is necessary in order to avert a crisis situation that could occur by the end of 2016,” she said at the time.