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WC farmer facing criminal charges for water transgressions

The Tierhoek Boerdery farmer is accused of building a dam without getting a licence to address safety risks.

FILE: Farms in the Western Cape are suffering under the current drought.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has taken a Clanwilliam farmer to court for water transgressions.

Officials opened a criminal case against Tierhoek Boerdery in Wildschutskraal earlier in 2018.

The case comes after the department conducted its first enforcement and monitoring blitz in the West Coast region in November.

Water and Sanitation Department officials visited 25 properties in the West Coast region in November to verify water use versus water allocations.

The Tierhoek Boerdery farmer was found to be in contravention of several regulations and now faces five criminal charges.

He is accused of building a dam without getting a licence to address safety risks.

The dam wall is also five meters high which contravenes the law.

The Department’s Sputnik Ratau says a further five cases are under investigation.

“The department is working with law enforcement agencies to charge these people. But the case has been postponed for further investigations.”

Ratau says the department views these transgressions in a very serious light as it comes at a time when the Western Cape is battling the worst drought in decades.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)