Water restrictions and the imposition of punitive tariffs will be on the agenda when the Kouga Local Municipality Council holds its last meeting for 2016 next week Thursday (15 December).
Kouga Local Municipality Executive Mayor, Elza van Lingen, said the water crisis facing the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro was also having an impact on the Kouga region.
“The Metro’s taps are running dry and they have introduced punitive water restrictions. These punitive tariffs will now also apply to Kouga because we buy the bulk of our water from the Metro,” she explained.
She said Kouga had received a mandate from the Metro to reduce the area’s water usage by 15% by the end of March 2017.
“Failure to comply will see the Metro imposing punitive tariffs upon Kouga. These will remain in effect until the Nooitgedacht Water Scheme comes online, which is only expected in 2019.”
In November, the Kouga Local Municipality Mayor said she was shocked when the municipality was slapped with a R46 million water bill from the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. Kouga gets its water from the Nelson Mandela Bay despite the latter’s dams being in the Kouga area.
She said an item would be tabled to Council on 15 December, recommending that water restrictions be imposed with immediate effect and that punitive tariffs, as set out in Part B of Kouga’s approved schedule of water charges, be implemented.
“For example, a household that was using 35kl of water per month and paying R354 will have to pay R578 for the same amount of water once the punitive restrictions have been approved,” she said.
She said if Kouga failed to cut its water usage by 15% by the end of March, the Council would have to consider upping the punitive tariffs, as set out in Part C of Kouga’s approved schedule of water charges.
“Under Part C a household would have to pay R847 for 35kl of water. That’s more than double the normal tariffs.
“It is, therefore, of vital importance for the financial well-being of all our residents that we reduce our water usage.”
She said the following activities would be prohibited once water restrictions have been approved by Council:
* The use of hosepipes, sprinklers and drip systems;
* The watering of gardens, lawns and grassed areas;
* The washing of paved areas, walls, roofs, buildings and similar structures, vehicles or other equipment;
* The filling of swimming pools, paddling pools, fountains and ponds; and
* The connection of a hosepipe or any form of irrigation system to a tap supplying water from the municipal water supply system, except for fire-fighting purposes.
She said the Council had become very aware of the vulnerability of Kouga’s water security because of the area’s dependence on the Metro for water.
“We have borehole water, but this is also a finite resource. The Council will, therefore, have to look at other ways of increasing our water supply over the long term, including the possible development of a desalination plant,” she said.