Water management devices raise concerns

Mitchells Plain United Residents Association (MURA) safety and security sectors road safety committee sub forum execo member Clive Dowman and coordinator, Alex Lawrence, introduced its services to Wolfgat Sub-council with a presentation on Thursday October 19.

At the latest sub-council meeting, Mitchell’s Plain councillors said they had been inundated with queries from residents about the installation of water management devices (WMD) restricting water usage to 350 litres a day.

Sheval Arendse, Wolfgat sub-council chairman and councillor for Ward 82, said families with more than four people on a property were battling with the quota. At the meeting at the Lentegeur council chambers, on Thursday October 19, he asked what could be done to help.

“Is there something that you can do?”

City of Cape Town Water Services official Shaheed Abrahams, however, said his hands were tied and that they had been tasked with doubling the installation of WMD to 400 a day across the city.

He explained that residents who were in arrears with their water bills had the WMDs installed and now following the implementation of Level 5 restrictions, and that the City penalise those using more than the allocated daily quota.

Mr Abrahams said as there was a backlog with indigent users, there was also a wait for those requesting more water. Phase 1 of the City’s critical water shortages disaster plan is currently in effect.

Mr Arendse, in his chairperson’s report, said dam storage levels were at 37.4 percent, with 27.4 percent of that being usable.

In September the City said residents using more than 20 000 litres of water a month would be penalised with the installation of water management devices, restricting usage to 350 litres a day. This comes to a monthly total of 10 500 litres for a month with 30 days.

Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for informal settlements, water and waste services; and energy, said existing excessive users had been engaged with already and new identified excessive users will receive warning letters as has been the practice.

“It must be emphasised that a process for representation to justify high usage may be made by the consumer in certain events, such as that the household comprises significantly more than four persons,” she said.

The 87 litre a person limit remains in place. The request will entail the device to be set to 87 litres multiplied by the number of confirmed residents who permanently reside on the property.

The application can be done by submitting an affidavit.

For more information visit http://cct.gov.za/G0gaJ.

Residents can email the City at water@capetown.gov.za with queries about the water pressure reduction, or to report contraventions of the water restrictions (evidence should be provided to assist the City’s enforcement efforts), or they can SMS 31373.

The City has also advised that normal supply could be disrupted in order to lower demand. This is part of the aggressive pressure reduction programmes in place which are set to be intensified. Water supplied by the City remains safe to drink and is tested in accordance with safety standards.

Danny Christians, councillor for Ward 81, appealed to sub-council to have high mast lights installed at Kapteinsklip train station. He said residents were slandering him on social media for not doing anything to protect commuters. “I have put my life at risk to attend patrols in the early hours of the morning,” he said.

Thirty-two of the street lights are not working because of vandalism.

“The station is in darkness. People are afraid to use the station,” he said.

Two years ago floodlights were mounted on existing street lights alongside Merrydale Avenue but these too had been stolen. “Proper lighting is required for commuters and the lack of lighting will sorely affect the proposed development of the Kapteinsklip station precinct and Mnandi Coastal node,” he said.

Councillors agreed to put pressure on the relevant authorities to install high mast lighting.

Wolfgat Sub-council has submitted a proposal to council that the Transport and Development Authority (TDA) investigate linking New Eisleben Road to the R300.

Eddie Andrews, councillor for Ward 78 and mayoral committee member for area south, made the proposal based on two new developments – Beacon Valley Housing Project and the South Corridor Project, due in Mitchell’s Plain. In support of his proposal he said Mitchell’s Plain had been developed under the apartheid government and designed as a dormitory community in 1974, and that the population had grown substantially. “Needless to say these developments will contribute towards traffic congestion as there are only three roads, Jakes Gerwel, AZ Berman and Baden Powell roads, that could be used to exit Mitchell’s Plain,” he said.

In supporting documents a feasibility study and future planning could be considered for an interchange at the Weltevreden and R300 intersection mirroring the New Eisleben link proposal.

Sub-council will contact Joan Woodman, councillor for Ward 75 which forms part of Sub-council 23, where the link is due to be located.