Despite the implementation of water restrictions in Buffalo City, the metro says it’s call for residents to use water sparingly has had nowhere near the impact that is needed.

Stage 3 water restrictions came into effect on New Year’s Day in the city, which comes just a months after council had approved stage two.

According to the Daily Dispatch, this stage is considered the second last tier before an inevitable Day Zero, which is expected to be implemented in February.

Speaking to the Daily Dispatch, Buffalo City Municipality (BCM) spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya said the city had changed the date of Stage 3 restrictions from early December to 1 January 2020 because people still needed to be made aware of what the stage entailed.

Buffalo City is a metropolitan municipality situated on the east coast of Eastern Cape province.  It includes East London, Bhisho and King William’s Town, as well as the large townships of Mdantsane and Zwelitsha.

Ngwenya said water usage in December and lack of decent rain had done little to avert the possibility of Day Zero in Buffalo City.

“Unfortunately we have had some rain but it hasn’t been good rain that makes an impact in the catchment areas. So the city’s situation remains dire and the earlier predictions of dry taps by the end of February looks highly likely,” he said.

Buffalo City  is experiencing water restriction due to sever ongoing drought, poor rains and poor maintenance of water infrastructure which exacerbate the situation.

Meanwhile Port Alfred has already reached Day Zero, with the Sarel Hayward dam level standing at 6%.

“There is insufficient capacity for all the water pumps to operate,” the municipality said in a statement.

“The use of hosepipes and buckets for the washing of cars and boats is strictly prohibited. Drought water tariffs have been implemented. Household usage should be limited to 50 litres per person per day.  We encourage people to check their water meters daily to determine current usage.”

Some of the water restrictions which apply to Buffalo City Municipality:

  • Resident must use non-portable water for gardening
  • Watering and irrigation with municipal water is only allowed before 9am or after 6pm, for only 30 minutes.
  • Housing down hard surfaces such as pavement is strictly prohibited
  • Grey-water or rainwater is to be used to flush toilets

Additional Source: Daily Dispatch

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