Gansbaai Courant

Blog: Western Cape's drought situation 'worrying'

Published: 03 March 2017
By:Gansbaai Courant

The current drought is increasingly extending its hold on Western Cape municipalities.  To highlight the severity of the situation, Carte Blanche will be doing a story on the looming water shortages and low dam levels this Sunday, 12 February at 19:00 on M-Net, DStv channel 101, as well as 20:00 on M-Net Plus 1 (channel 901).

According to the Director of Infrastructure & Planning, Stephen Müller, most municipalities in the Cape have put various water-usage regulations in place to ensure that there is enough drinking water for essential needs – “but not the Overstrand. And Carte Blanche has interviewed us (along with surrounding municipalities) to ask why Overstrand has not as yet implemented water restrictions in our area,” he said.

“Overstrand Municipality and its consumers succeeded in reducing its total annual potable water demand by 21% since 2008, despite a rapidly growing population“.

“But, Rainfall during 2016 to date was below the long term average.  Users are also reminded of the Overstrand water services bylaw no. 46(1), which determines that no irrigation should take place between the hours of 09:00 and 17:00.

Currently the De Bos Dam is 78.6% full, compared to 80.6% this time last year. The Buffels River, Pearly Beach  and Kraaibosch Dams are still at satisfactory levels,” Müller offered in further explanation.

City of Cape Town -  The facts

The Western Cape has five areas that have been declared disaster drought areas from a year ago and the rest of the province remains very dry, including the City of Cape Town, Prince Albert and the Winelands.

Dams in the province were - on average - 37% full and various municipalities have since implemented water restrictions.

According to Spokesperson for the local government, environmental affairs and planning department, James Brent Styan “the City of Cape Town has recently tightened the screws on the already-in-place level 3 restrictions. The level 3B restrictions come as a result of water usage targets not being met, combined with the low rainfall”.

“Level 3 tariffs remain applicable for the level 3B water restrictions. With the level 3B  water  restrictions, watering or irrigation (with municipal drinking water) of flower beds, lawns, vegetables and other plants, sports fields, parks and other open spaces is allowed only on Tuesdays and Saturdays before 9am or after 6pm for a maximum of one hour per day per property, and only if using a bucket or watering can”.

“No use of hosepipes or sprinkler systems is allowed. Also, watering or irrigation is prohibited within 48 hours of rainfall that provides adequate saturation,” he confirmed.

Emergency and Municipal service numbers

Below is a list of service delivery and emergency numbers everyone should have.

Overstrand Municipality offers the following Customer Care & Helpdesks for municipal related services during office hours (07:45 – 16:30) for the different administrations: 

Kleinmond            028 271 8465;

Hermanus             028 313 8196;

Stanford                028 341 8516;

Gansbaai               028 384 8328;

Overstrand Switchboard (all hours) 028 313 8000. 

After hours  (Municipal services) 

After hours services have been centralised and all above numbers will still work but will be diverted to the Overstrand Switchboard.

The Overstrand Municipality has had a 24 hour Emergency Control Room (028 313 8000 / 8111) in operation for more than six years with operators on a 24-hour shift system. 

The centre deals with general enquiries and complaints essentially after-hours, on public holidays and over weekends. 

When receiving complaints or general enquiries from the public, the Call Centre Operator electronically logs the caller’s details as well as the nature of the query or complaint on the customer care computer system.  The relevant department is then informed. 

Members of the public can request a customer complaint number in order to follow up on the progress of a specific complaint. 

We encourage residents to ask for a reference number and to quote it in all correspondence or telephone discussions relating to that particular request as it provides call-traceability for both parties.


In the event of an emergency the last thing one needs, is to worry about a call failure or to try and remember the correct telephone number.

Saving Overstrand Municipality’s emergency service number on your phone means you are prepared for any situation!

Fire and Rescue Emergencies number is 028 312 2400. 

In case of floods and accidents within the Overstrand area that same number applies as the Municipality’s 24-hour EMERGENCY ONLY number. 

 The Sea Rescue Emergency number is 112.

For day to day law enforcement complaints ring 028 313 8980.

For switchboard and general enquiries ring Overstrand’s control room on 028 313 8000 / 8111 (at all hours, including emergencies).

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