Cape Town to introduce level 6 water restrictions


The City of Cape Town will introduce level 6 water restrictions on January 1, in view of the ongoing dire drought situation. They will be in effect until further notice.

In a public notice, Cape Town Department of Water and Sanitation said failure to comply with this notice might constitute an offence, and the accused would be liable to an admission of guilt fine and an installation of a water management device at premises where the non-compliance occurred. The cost thereof will be billed to the relevant account holder, and customers with good reason for higher consumption need to provide the City with motivation to justify their higher consumption.

Restrictions applicable to all customers:

  • No watering/irrigation with municipal drinking water allowed. This includes watering/irrigation of gardens, vegetables, agricultural crops, sports fields, golf courses, nurseries, parks and other open spaces. Nurseries and customers involved in agricultural activities or with historic gardens may apply for exemption.
  • All boreholes and well-points must be registered with the City and must display the official City of Cape Town signage clearly visible from a public thoroughfare.
  • All properties where alternative, non-drinking water resources are used (including rainwater harvesting, greywater, treated effluent water and spring water) must display signage to this effect, clearly visible from a public thoroughfare.
  • No topping up (manual/automatic) filling or refilling of swimming pools with municipal drinking water is allowed, even if fitted with a pool cover.
  • The use of portable or any temporary play pools is prohibited.
  • No washing of vehicles (including taxis), trailers, caravans and boats with municipal drinking water allowed. These must be washed with non-drinking water or cleaned with waterless products or dry steam cleaning processes. This applies to all customers, including formal and informal car washes.
  • No washing or hosing down of hard-surfaced or paved areas with municipal drinking water allowed. Users, such as abattoirs, food processing industries, care facilities, animal shelters and other industries or facilities with special needs (health/safety related only) must apply for exemption.
  • The use of municipal drinking water for ornamental water fountains or water features is prohibited.

Restrictions applicable to residential customers:

  • All residents are required to use no more than 87,5 litres of municipal drinking water per person per day in total, irrespective of whether you are at home, work or elsewhere. Therefore, a residential property with four occupants, for example, is expected to use at most 10 500 litres per month. Properties where the number of occupants necessitates higher consumption are encouraged to apply for an increase in quota.
  • Residents are encouraged to flush toilets (e.g. manually using a bucket) with greywater, rainwater or other non-drinking water.
  • No increase of the indigent water allocation over and above the free 350 litres a day will be granted, unless through prior application and permission for specific events such as burial ceremonies.

Restrictions applicable to non-residential customers:

  • All non-residential properties (e.g. commercial and industrial properties, schools, clubs and institutions) must ensure that their monthly consumption of municipal drinking water is reduced by 45% compared to the corresponding period in 2015 (pre-drought).
  • All agricultural users must ensure that their monthly consumption of municipal drinking water is reduced by 60% compared to the corresponding period in 2015 (pre-drought).
  • The operation of spray parks is prohibited.
  • No new landscaping or sports fields may be established, except if irrigated only with non-drinking water.
  • For users supplied with water in terms of special contracts (notarial deeds, water service intermediaries or water service providers), the contract conditions shall apply.

Exemptions issued under Level 4B and 5 restrictions still apply.


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