What you need to know about the partially lifted water restrictions

Water restrictions in the City of Johannesburg have been partially lifted.

Nico de Jager, MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services, said this was done in an effort to promote a culture of water conservation.

The Department of Water and Sanitation announced the lifting of water restrictions in the Government Gazette of 13 March.

Sputnik Ratau, the department’s spokesperson, said the decision to lift restrictions in Gauteng comes after the recent rains that flowed into the Integrated Vaal River System.

Nico de Jager, MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services in the City of Johannesburg. Photo: Chantelle Fourie.

De Jager reminded residents that South Africa was a water scarce country and the City remained a net importer of water.

“We urge all water users to maintain vigilance in conserving this scarce resource,” De Jager said.

He explained that the risk of demand outstripping supply before the commissioning of the second phase of the Lesotho Highlands Project in 2025 remained a real threat.

Therefore the City will, in an effort to maintain a culture of water conservation, only partially lift Level-2 water restrictions.

This means:

  • On an annual basis, between 6am and 6pm from 1 September to 31 March; and between 8am and 4pm from 1 April to 31 August, residents are prohibited from irrigating their gardens
  • Residents cannot use a hosepipe to clean paved areas and driveways with the municipality’s water.

De Jager said Metro police issued a total of 665 fines to consumers who contravened the Water Services Bylaw and consumers were still urged to report non-compliance by phoning the Metro police 24/7 hotline on 011 758 9650.

“We must change the manner in which all of us engage with water. The current water footprint for the City of Joburg is 309 litres per capita per day, compared to the national and world averages of 274 litres and 175 litres respectively. At the height of the restrictions, the demand reduced to 289 litres per capita per day,” he said.

Residents are urged to continue using greywater for watering gardens and flushing toilets, to report leaks and bursts and to install water saving devices.

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Chantelle Fourie

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