A legal battle is looming for a Constantia resident by the name of Paul Baise after claims that he was selling unreasonably large amounts of water from a mountain stream in his garden during the peak of the Cape Town drought.
Residents claim that when the drought was at its worst, there were up to 20 trucks a day that came to fill up with water.
The water is alleged to have been sold mainly to fill up private swimming pools, at a time when Capetonians were restricted to living on 50 litres a day.
South African National Parks (SANParks) is taking action by applying to the Western Cape High Court for an interdict to stop Baise from using the mountain water “beyond a reasonable amount”.
Baise even reportedly bragged to a neighbour that he was making R15 000 a day from his latest “business”, although he has denied these claims.
Mathew Coetzee, SANParks attorney said, Baise had a right to a “reasonable amount” of the mountain water for personal consumption, however, “my client’s view is that he has exceeded that.”
Baise feels that SANparks has no jurisdiction over the matter and maintains that he has done nothing wrong by selling the water.
“I’m allowed to do so. No one looks at the Water Services Act. It doesn’t say you can’t sell water for pools and Jo-Jo tanks if it is under two million litres a year. But not for drinking purposes or industrial.”
He said the amount he sold in a year was less than two million litres, but was not able to put a figure to it.