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R12k fine for ignoring water restrictions in Ekurhuleni

Ekurhuleni says residents will be punished for watering gardens during the day & filling pools.

FILE. Last week the City of Johannesburg implemented level two water restrictions after Rand Water urgently asked the city to start implementing control measures. Picture: freeimages.com.

JOHANNESBURG - The bulk water system in Gauteng is still under severe pressure despite reservoirs filling up over the weekend and Rand Water is calling on residents to lower their demand.

The Ekurhuleni Municipality says people could be fined more than R12,000 if residents or businesses contravene restrictions like the watering of gardens during the day.

Last week, the City of Johannesburg implemented level two water restrictions after Rand Water urgently asked the city to start implementing control measures.

While weather forecasters predict that there's a good chance of rain, both the city and the Ekurhuleni metros say it's up to consumers to reduce their demand by not watering gardens or filling up pools.

Rand Water's Sipho Mosai says bulk water supply will only truly be out of the woods when the demand drops, with or without the rain.

"Do not let the taps run. Fix the leaks. When you brush your teeth, close the tap. We are not out of the woods yet. We still need to be very conservative in terms of our water consumption."

Ekurhuleni Water MMC Doctor Xhakaza says residents will be punished for ignoring restrictions.

"Water supply is flowing to most of the areas in Ekurhuleni except to certain suburbs in Germiston."

LISTEN: Rainwater: How can we harvest it?

'REPORT WATER LEAKS'

Rand Water has also urged communities to contact the local municipal offices and report any water leaks, saying the utility is increasing the speed in which it responds to calls.

The utility says its request for communities to use water sparingly includes monitoring leakages and dripping taps, which wastes litres of water every day.

Mosai says bulk water supply will only truly be out of the woods would when the demand drops, with or without the rain.

"They must contact their nearest municipal office. I know most municipalities have beefed up their response teams.

At the joint operations centre, we talked long and hard about improving response time. We have also increased the number of people working at our call centres."

WATCH: Taps have run dry in some parts of Johannesburg, and residents now have to rely on water tankers in order to collect this precious resource.

And as appeals continue for residents to use water sparingly, some community members say they report leaking or burst pipes which are left for days at a time.

Many have shared their outage on social media, posting pictures of leakages, adding that thousands of litres of water is being wasted.

Radio personality Mark Pilgrim says a pipe burst on Saturday morning in Sandown has not yet been fixed, despite several reports of the burst.

"Thousands of litres are running down the road. And to pour salt on the wound, yesterday morning the water utility was just a bit further down the road, doing something to a storm drain, with all the water that was leaking from higher up the road gushing past their truck. But they didn't see to it at all."

Mosai says the utility is working on speeding up response time to burst pipes.

WATER CUTS IN GERMISTON

The Ekurhuleni Municipality says it's closely monitoring the water supply to some areas in Germiston after many were without water for days at a time.

Xhakaza says officials visited some of the affected areas over the weekend.

Some areas, including the Sunnyridge area, were without water for at least seven days and many have been completely relying on water tankers from the municipality.

Xhakaza says they are particularly concerned about what access the elderly have to emergency water supplies.

"We can confirm that the water now is available in all the areas. But of course, we're looking closely and monitoring the situation."

But he says, in light of the persisting heatwave, the municipality will continue its appeals to residents to avoid filling up their pools are watering gardens at any time of the day.

WATCH: #The411: McDonald's queues, SA's water crisis & the banning of fireworks

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