I am pleased to announce that Stellenbosch Municipality will be lifting all water restrictions. This follows an announcement that the City of Cape Town will lift water restrictions in the metro, which places us in a position to do the same.
From 1 November 2020 Stellenbosch Municipality will therefore move from level 2 water restrictions to no water restrictions, meaning that our normal water tariffs will apply. It will be the first time in 5 years that we are in a position to lift water restrictions, following two years of excellent seasonal winter rains.
The normal water tariff has been approved by council earlier this year as part of the annual budget for the 2020/2021 financial year. The lifting of water restrictions and the move to the normal water tariff scale has the potential to offer financial relief to residents and businesses.
Many of our residents and businesses have enquired about the state of water restrictions and tariffs, given the fact that our Province has experienced good rainfall that has filled up most of the dams in the Western Cape Water Supply System (WCWSS). The WCWSS is a complex water supply system comprising an inter-linked system of six main dams, pipelines, tunnels and distribution networks across the province.
Stellenbosch Municipality is bound by decisions taken by the National Department of Water and Sanitation, who operate the WCWSS network, as well as the City of Cape Town. This is because we tap into the same water resources as the City and receive approximately a third of our water from the City.
Research has shown that South Africans use up to 70% more water per capita than the international average. We are a water scarce country and our high water usage could result in another future crisis situation. I urge all residents to please continue to use water wisely, save water wherever possible and help us to avoid another crises. I also want to thank all our residents who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to save water and who helped us successfully manage this difficult time. I am proud of all the efforts being made to make us a water wise region!