South African National Parks (SANParks) has obtained an order in its favour against a Constantia man who had been selling water – by the truckload – from a mountain stream.
Advocate Sithe Ngombane, for SANParks, said the Western Cape High Court handed down an ex tempore judgment on August 28 and was expected to provide written reasons for the order soon.
Resident Paul Baise was interdicted from further erecting or installing water pipes and further encroachment on SANParks property, as well as restrained from selling water, said Ngombane.
He welcomed the outcome, saying that water and the environment should be protected for future generations.
News24 reported that Baise had the local neighbourhood up in arms for selling stream water by the truckload, particularly during the height of Cape Town’s drought.
The Blue Scorpions shut down Baise’s water-selling operation in April. Much of the water was being sold to a company that fills swimming pools.
Selling water without a licence contravenes the Water Act.
Ngombane said the title deed did not entitle him to sell water, and only allowed him to share one-third of the water with two other neighbours.
Kevin McGivern, who shares a driveway with Baise and another neighbour, previously told News24 that he and Baise were allowed to draw water from the mountain stream behind their Rhodes Drive, Constantia properties through “a half-inch pipe” for household use only.
Baise had maintained that SANParks has no jurisdiction in the matter as surface water is managed by the national Department of Water and Sanitation.
“We applaud the findings of the court,” said department spokesperson Sputnik Ratau.
He was glad the courts were assisting in bringing awareness to responsibly managing the environment and water sources.
Attorney Zaheer Parker, for Baise, told News24 that his client was aggrieved by the outcome.
“I confirm that we have an instruction to take the matter on appeal, but are just waiting for the written reasons,” he said.