Cape Town to bolster water by-law enforcement

The City of Cape Town will strengthen the enforcement of its by-laws related to water, in accordance with the new fine structure approved by the Chief Magistrate.

Garden irrigation times are before 10:00 and after 16:00

The City has a number of water by-laws in place to define its standards, protect existing infrastructure and the environment, as well as to ensure the health and safety of its residents. This focus on enforcement forms part of the City’s ongoing efforts to strengthen water conservation programmes and improve water quality across Cape Town and to ensure that the security of our water supply is not compromised.

To date, 18 Peace Officers have been appointed to enforce the by-laws related to Water; Wastewater and Industrial Effluent; Treated Effluent; and Stormwater Management.

In addition, a partnership has been forged between the existing Water and Sanitation Inspectors and the City’s Law Enforcement Officers to further increase the enforcement capacity for enforcement of by-laws related to water.

During the month of March 2012 and as part of the City’s Water Month campaign, Water Pollution Control Inspectors, in collaboration with the City’s Law Enforcement Officers, issued 60 spot fines amounting to R60 000,00 to offenders who contravened the Stormwater Management By-law.

In total, 207 fines amounting to R207 000,00 have been issued thus far for contraventions relating to this by-law alone. Where the extent of damage to infrastructure exceeds the value of R1 000,00 full legal action is instituted against the offender. To date eight cases are being processed.

Most of the fines issued related to industries that discharged illegal substances into the stormwater system. In addition to the fines issued, they were also requested to take remedial action within a stipulated timeframe or face further consequences.

Recently, the Chief Magistrate charged with Municipal Courts approved spot fines ranging from R500,00 to R2 500,00 for the City’s other by-laws related to water and sanitation:

  • Water By-Law (Promulgated 18 February 2011)
  • Wastewater and Industrial Effluent By-Law (Promulgated 1 September 2006)
  • Treated Effluent By-Law (Promulgated 30 July 2010)

“Our inspectors will soon be issuing spot fines under these by-laws with the revised fine structure. They will focus in particular on issues of water wastage; irrigation times, i.e. before 10:00 and after 16:00; protection of sewers and the environment; and unauthorised use and labelling of treated effluent. We treat these offences very seriously and we would like all residents to do the same. We appeal to industries and members of the public to support the City’s Peace Officers to ensure compliance with the respective by-laws, thereby maintaining our infrastructure and sustaining Cape Town’s unique biodiversity,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, Councillor Shehaam Sims.

To report non-compliance, please contact the City’s Call Centre on 0860 103 089 and select the ‘water’ option; e-mail; or send an SMS to 31373.

For more information on the by-laws, please visit:

Source: City of Cape Town

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