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Farmer accused of water transgressions, fined R3.5m in Western Cape court

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As reported by Eyewitness News, Tierhoek Boerdery first appeared in after the Department of Water and Sanitation found that the farm’s owner didn’t apply for a license before constructing dams.

The matter was then brought to the Clanwilliam Regional Court in March 2018 on five charges of water transgression. Following further investigations, an additional six charges were added.

The owner of Tierhoek boerdery was found guilty of all charges earlier this week. The court heard that Tierhoek Boerdery built two dams and intentionally did not register either one within the 120-day period.

Spokesperson Sputnik Ratau explained: “The farmer intentionally didn’t comply with the act and stored water without authorisation.”

According to the Department of Water and Sanitation, Tierhoek Boerdery contravened:

  • the Dam Safety Regulation 4(1) of National Water Act, 36 of 1998 by failing to apply for the licence.
  • Regulation 10 of the Safety of Dams Regulations, where he constructed category two dams without relevant documents.
  • Regulation 3 pertaining to the registration of water use.
  • Regulation 7 pertaining to the registration of water use by unlawfully and intentionally failed to be in possession of a registration certificate to use water.
  • Section 151(1) (a) and section 151(2) of NWA 36, 1998, sections 21(b) and 22(a-c) of the act by unlawfully and intentionally failed to comply with the act by storing water without authorisation.
  • Section 120(2), 151k and 151(2) of NWA, 36 of 1998 and Regulation 37 of the Regulations of the Safety Dams for unlawfully and intentionally failing to register the dams and submitting registration documents to the department.

The court ruled that Tierhoek Boerdery make payment of R1 250 000 to the Department of Water and Sanitation, as well as R1 250 000 to Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Plumbing, and R1 000 000 to the National Prosecuting Authority.

Boniswa Hene, the Director for Regulation, urged transgressors to heed the warning. She said:

“Government acknowledges that the farming community also plays a vital role in the socio-economic development of the country; however, we encourage every water user to respect the law.”

(Source: The South African)


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