City officials visited Tsepe-tsepe and other areas in Khayelitsha, on Friday March 10, to plead with residents to use water wisely.
Two weeks ago, mayor Patricia de Lille declared Cape Town a disaster area.
And according to the City’s latest report, Cape Town has just more than 100 days of drinking water left in its reserves.
Philiswa Marman-Faba, chairwoman of the City’s utilities and energy services committee, said the City was running a metro-wide campaign to get people to do everything possible to save water.
But despite the deepening crisis, which has seen dam levels drop to unprecedented levels, Ms Marman-Faba said people were still wasting water: using hosepipes to wash their car, leaving taps to run and failing to fix leaks.
“People’s attitudes need to be changed. We will win the battle if we change their behaviour. We aim to forge partnerships with them, car washes and all the other stakeholders like business people. People need to know that we are facing a serious problem. Water shortage is no child’s play, but a serious business,” said Ms Marman-Faba.
She visited several car washes and urged them to register with the City.
“If they register, they will get tips and education on water. But again, they will be getting shelters and devices that recycle water. There are benefits to this because they will not be using more water,” she said.
Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for informal settlements, water and waste services, and energy, urged residents to check their homes’ plumbing and fix leaks quickly.
Homeowers’ negligence, she warned, led to significant water wastage. Residents had a legal obligation to ensure the pipes on their property were well-maintained.
Tsepe-tsepe resident Nomsa Mila welcomed the City’s plans to educate communities.
She was worried about people who left taps running.
“Where I work, I am told not to use a hosepipe but a bucket to clean. But here is different, we are wasteful. Also, people from formal houses use our taps to wash their cars because they believe that we do not pay rates. That too must be noted,” she said.
Car wash owner Nkosinathi Ngangiwe said he was considering registering his car wash.