Durban – The eThekwini Municipality has launched an investigation into an unofficial leaked document alleging that the city would be implementing water restrictions.
In a letter to ratepayers Mayor James Nxumalo said the decision to investigate the document was made by the municipality’s executive committee (exco) on Tuesday.
A schedule for water restrictions was widely circulated on social media this week detailing times for restrictions in various areas in the city.
Nxumalo said the investigation would establish who leaked the document and the motive.
He added that the municipality has been taking measures to reduce water consumption by 15% as requested by MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube.
“Any planned restrictions will be carefully considered and proper consultation with affected communities will take place before water curtailing measures are implemented.”
According to Nxumalo, the municipality’s water and sanitation head, Ednick Msweli, had said water restrictions would be a last option after all other water saving measures had been exhausted.
“The report, which has caused a lot of unnecessary panic among the public, is not an official report by the city.
“There is a process to deal with documents in council, starting from the head of a department, progressing to a committee and then the executive committee and then council before it is approved. This report did not come before a committee.”
Nxumalo said a special full council meeting would be held on Friday during which the eThekwini water and sanitation department would make a presentation.
“This will inform [councillors] of the current drought situation as well as measures being taken by the city, including that there would be no water rationing.
“In light of the drought crisis we have implemented measures such as installing restrictors and education campaigns on water conservation.”
More than 50 000 restrictors have been installed already, he said.
Areas where restrictors have been installed include Welbedacht East and West, KwaDabeka, Ntuzuma, Mount Moriah, uThongathi, Verulam, La Mercy, Westbrook and uMdloti which had been supplied from the Hazelmere Dam system since April 2015.