My Water - Water restrictions


 CURRENT WATER RESTRICTIONS: PART C (Implemented by Council on 19 May 2021) - View the news item


In terms of Section 4 of the Water Services Act 108 (No 108 of 1997) and Clause 31 of the Water and Sanitation Services By- Law, the following will be prohibited from immediate effect:

1.     All domestic customers will have a flow meter restrictor installed to reduce the water pressure to reduce losses.

2.      All domestic customers to limit water usage to 50 litres per person per day or 15 kilolitres per month for households.

3.      All domestic customers, with excessive use, will have a flow meter restrictor installed to limit usage to 15 kilolitres per month.

4.      For Non-Assistance to the Poor (ATTP) users, notices to all consumers using above 15 kilolitres per month will be served immediately and restrictors will be installed thereafter, at the cost of the customer.

5.      Industrial and commercial users and institutions will be requested to reduce their consumption by at least 20%:

         5.1    Reduce their water consumption for production.

         5.2    Reduce their domestic consumptions

         5.3    Reuse and recycle water.

6.      No use of municipal water supply allowed to water gardens, wash cars, hose down walls or paving, top up pools, fountains or ponds, etc.

7.      No use of hosepipes allowed (to water gardens, wash cars, hose down walls or paving, top up pools, fountains or ponds, etc.), unless:

7.1   The water is from a source other than municipal.

7.2   The water is used for firefighting purposes.

8.     No use of sprinklers or irrigation systems allowed, unless the water is from a source other than municipal.

9.     All building contractors to use treated effluent, collected from Fishwater Flats at no cost (or any other appropriate wastewater treatment works), other than for concrete work.

10.   All borehole users must register with the NMBM and must abide by all relevant legislative requirements in terms of use for domestic purposes only (National Water Acts and NMBM By-law).

11.   All boreholes usage to be restricted by 20%, as per directive from the Department of Water and Sanitation.

12.   No applications to build swimming pools will be approved.

13.   No use of automatic urinal flushing systems allowed.

14.   All car washes must be closed if they have not achieved the requirement to recycle 60% of their water.

15.   Municipal swimming pools must be filled with suitable ground water.

16.   No municipal showers around recreational facilities will operate.

17.   Schedule of water tariffs:

         17.1 Residential, institutional and government users will remain on Part B of the Schedule of Tariffs.

         17.2 Commercial and Industrial users will remain on Part B of the Schedule of Tariffs.

18.   All requirements of the NMBM Water and Sanitation By-Law will be enforced.

19.   Every special previous concession falls away and reapplication must be made.

The prohibitions contained in this notice shall not apply in any case specifically exempted, in writing, by the Executive Director: Infrastructure and Engineering.

Noticeboards must be prominently displayed where water from sources other than the Municipality’s water supply system is used for irrigation. Land owners must notify the NMBM Infrastructure and Engineering Directorate in writing of the existence of boreholes on their property, including the intention to sink new boreholes.

The contravention of this prohibition constitutes a criminal offence.

Water Tariff Structure:

Part B of the Charges & Tariffs (Applicable during times of water shortage) (Excl. VAT):



>0 = 0.3 kl/d


>0.3 = 0.5 kl/d


>0.5 = 0.8 kl/d


>0.8 = 1.0 kl/d


>1.0 = 1.6 kl/d


>1.6 kl/d




Institutional & Gov. Dept.


Commercial / Industrial



Part C of the Charges & Tariffs (Applicable during times of water shortage emergency) (Excl. VAT):



>0 = 0.3 kl/d


>0.3 = 0.5 kl/d


>0.5 = 0.8 kl/d


>0.8 = 1.0 kl/d


>1.0 = 1.6 kl/d


>1.6 kl/d




Institutional & Gov. Dept.


Commercial / Industrial


 Note: The above Tariffs are subject to change in line to what Council Approves


Due to the severity of the ongoing drought, rapidly dwindling water resources and continued high water usage in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, difficult decisions need to be taken and a shared concerted effort is required to ensure that the very real eventuality of taps running dry in our communities does not become a reality. The Metro has had various benchmarking sessions with the City of Cape Town regarding their Day Zero efforts. One of the most effective tools used in the City of Cape Town, and which resulted in a water usage reduction of 40%, was the introduction of water pressure management devices. 

The Nelson Mandela Bay Metro continues to play its part and repair water leaks – for the third week in a row 1000 water leaks repaired in 7 days has been achieved. Various other interventions have been rolled out to reduce water consumption and augment water supply. 

As part of Phase 1 of the roll out of water pressure management measures the top 100 water users in the Metro have had water flow restrictor discs installed at their premises. The Metro has now commenced with Phase 2 of implementation to install these discs at all Metro consumers who consume between 10-15kl/month. 

Flow restrictor discs are small discs that are installed on the consumer side of the water meter. These discs have a hole through the disc that restricts excessive flow and reduces the pressure to the property. The device does not shut off the water supply to the property and consumers will thus still have continuous water supply even with the flow restrictor installed. There will be a mass roll-out of these discs, free of charge, as part of measures to urgently reduce water consumption and ensure that our communities do not run out of water. 

Flow limiting devices are special devices that can control the volume of water that passes through the water meter on a daily basis. The device monitors the volume used per day and will shut off the water supply to the property once the preset volume of 500l per day has been reached. Thus in a typical month of 30 days, the property will be limited to a maximum of 15kl/month. Should the limit of 500l/day be reached and the device shuts off the supply, the water supply will be re-instated at 04h00 the following morning. These devices will only be installed at properties where the water usage remains above 15kl/month despite notices to reduce water and despite a flow restrictors disc having been installed at the property. Exemption requests, for exceptional circumstances, with detailed reasons why usage above 15kl/month for a property should be granted, can be sent to the Executive Director: Infrastructure and Engineering.

Complexes and Sectional Title Schemes: The Metro is currently investigating further interventions that will address the consumption of water at complexes and sectional title schemes. As there are multiple consumers on one (or more) municipal connections in this instance, the metro will roll out a different approach to deal with these schemes. The Metro has already sent notices to Managing Agents and Body Corporates in an attempt to fast track communication with these stakeholders. The Metro will make flow restrictor discs available free of charge to these schemes to install at their premises. A differentiated and combined effort to these types of properties is required as the Metro, unlike with freehold properties, does not have access to individual meters on private property inside these premises. In terms of the Metro’s water by-laws these schemes are already required to have installed individual meters per unit, the installation of these discs will thus be a simple process. The Metro requests Managing Agents, Body Corporates and residents to work with us – as this drought affects us all 

For those schemes, in exceptional circumstances, that cannot comply with the request to install flow restrictor discs, other avenues of water saving can be investigated – any such application must be submitted to the Executive Director: Infrastructure and Engineering with supporting evidence of a reduction in water usage and reasons why these discs cannot be installed. 

Water saving is everyone’s responsibility; we need to work together to overcome this devastating drought. 


The Municipality has implemented a number of emergency schemes and interventions to mitigate the consequences of the water shortage. Here are some of them:

1.    Emergency schemes


  • Making available non-potable water to the public at no cost, to offset potable water consumption.
  • Promoting use and making available return effluent water from all waste water treatment plants
  • Making available untreated ground water at Coega Kop (this water will be collected at the Motherwell Cemetery).
  • Using additional clarified and chlorinated unfiltered water from the Nooitgedagt Water Treatment Works to increase the Municipality’s total treatment capacity by 30 megalitres per day.
  • Planning and completing feasibility studies for the desalination of sea water.
  • Fast tracking the construction of the new Coega Kop Water Treatment Works and Well Field ground water from the artesian aquifers in the area surrounding Coega Kop.


2.    Interventions

Human capital resourcing, i.e. staff recruitment comprised the appointment of 13 plumbers, as well as 1 Senior Superintendent, 2 Superintendents and 6 Installation Inspectors.

3.   Other interventions:


  • Sourcing external capacity to augment internal capacity – Contractors were procured to assist in leak detection and fixing.
  • Intensification of the Assistance To The Poor (ATTP) Programme – This programme inter alia ensures that internal leaks in indigent local households are fixed.
  • Serving notices to schools that consistently record high consumption.
  • Installing water demand management devices at schools to stop water abuse.
  • Training Peace Officers authorised to issue fines to water abusers and enforce the NMBM Water & Sanitation Bylaw.
  • 10-year business plan was developed and approved by Council to deal with the major problem of non-revenue water, as well as bulk water supply and meters; remote meter reading; pressure management and billing management; water and sanitation tariffs; leak repairs; operations and maintenance; domestic meter audits; valve and hydrant audits; water meter replacement; reservoir rehabilitation; and community awareness.


We urge all our stakeholders to be vigilant in the protection of our water infrastructure, as water disruptions are occurring as a result of theft and vandalism at reservoirs and pump installations.

We thank all our residents and stakeholders for working with us to mitigate the impact of the water shortage. We require the active participation of each and every resident to ensure water sustainability in our City.

Please take up the challenge of bringing our consumption down to 250 megalitres a day. We can do it!


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