Cape Town - In the midst of a water crisis in the Western Cape, a water company is making money filling pools all over the province with clean, drinking water.
While most Capetonians are struggling to stay within the 87 litres of water a day limit, the company, Bulk Water, delivers water and refills your pool, charging thousands of rands.
On Thursday morning a truck was seen filling up a pool at a house in Southfield.
The driver of the truck even handed out the business’s pamphlet to a neighbour.
The woman told Daily Voice: “We have to save water, and think about the future, but here are people filling up pools. How inconsiderate!”
Dam levels in the province currently stand at 37.4%, of which only 27.4% is usable.
Under level 5 water restrictions, residents are not allowed to fill or top up their pools with municipal drinking water.
Facilities or municipal customers making use of borehole water “are encouraged not to water/irrigate within seven days after rainfall that provided adequate saturation”.
The Daily Voice called one of the numbers on the pamphlet and was promptly given a quotation by a manager named Shay.
Filling a 30 000 litre pool in Grassy Park would cost R7000; the total includes the transportation charge. This quotation was valid for a week, said Shay.
“We have a 24 000 litre trailer with three compartments which hold 8000 litres. We deliver to any area in the Western Cape. We only work with cash payments. A recent fill-up we did was in Brackenfell and it was a 24 000 litre pool, the customer paid R6000,” Shay explained.
Asked about the origin of the water, he responded: “The water is clean and suitable to drink. We get our water from a borehole and it is from private property.”
Asked where the company was based, Shay said all over the Western Cape.
But Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services: and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg, says if the business is extracting more than the domestic amount, it is illegal.
“National government has authority over non-potable water. However, if the business is drawing a substantial amount they would have to apply for a licence from the national department of Water and Sanitation,” Limberg said.
“If this is for commercial use, they would need a licence, depending on the amount of water they are using. If the water being drawn is a significant amount beyond domestic scale, it would be illegal.”
The Daily Voice spoke to the owner of Bulk Water, Itsik Tsour, who stated the company was licensed.
When called back to request proof of the licence, both numbers of the business went to voicemail.