South African Breweries will invest in extra infrastructure to accommodate the growing number of people collecting water from its Newlands spring. Picture: Tracey Adams
Cape Town - South African Breweries (SAB) will be investing in additional infrastructure to accommodate the growing number of people collecting water from its Newlands spring. This is to ensure the water supply is available to as many people as possible.

The severe drought in the Western Cape has prompted people to collect fresh water at its spring collection point located at the premises of the SAB.

However, it has emerged that the brewery has received several reports of abuse of the facility. 

Last week the Cape Argus received a tip-off indicating that someone was taking 2000 litres of water on the premises, which left people who were queuing for hours fuming.

The general manager at the Newlands Brewery, John Stenslund, said the water crisis had led to queries and complaints from the public about the abuse of the facility.

He also added that the facility was governed by the National Water Act of 1998 and the property law.

“We are urging members of the public not to abuse this source of free water and to limit themselves to the maximum allowable limit of 25 litres a day,” Stenslund said.

SAB said that because they held and reserved rights of admission to the facility, they had installed CCTV cameras for security.

The company has also created an “express tap” initiative to allow for faster collection and high mast lights for security at night.

The company also reiterated that the water source was not meant for commercial use by companies, car washes and other businesses.

They also said that if anyone was found collecting water for commercial use they would be asked to show a water use authorisation permit issued by the National Department of Water and Sanitation that allows collection from springs.

“If they don’t have such an authorisation, we will be forced to report them to the DWS, with possible consequences in terms of the act,” Stenslunde said.

SAB Newlands Brewery uses the natural spring water to produce beer, and it was a decision taken in collaboration with the City of Cape Town in 2011 to extend this supply to the public. However, this decision did not include business or agricultural use.

“Water is one of SAB’s key sustainable development priorities in planning for the future. It is critical that in this time of water shortage, this natural resource be used sparingly and responsibly,” Stenslunde said. 

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Cape Argus