Love in the time of pipes

2012-11-12 00:00

IN a determined effort to “propose love”, men in Zululand District were resorting to destroying taps in the area, which forced “maidens” to collect water from rivers and streams, where the proposals were made, District Mayor Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi said last week.

KaMagwaza-Msibi advised the suitors rather to use modern technology such as cellphones instead of destroying the standpipes, which she said was a criminal offence.

The mayor was speaking at the launch of a R22,3 million water scheme at KwaMajomela near Nongoma. She said the district had noticed that a “large number of water standpipes are being destroyed” .

The municipality said it needed more than R3 billion to provide water and sanitation for almost one million residents.

Magwaza-Msibi said the incidents were most common in the Nongoma area where the tradition of proposing love to “young maidens” when they are collecting “water and firewood” was still common.

“Young men who are migrant workers in Durban and Johannesburg resort to destroying standpipes installed by the municipality to force young maidens to fetch water from the natural streams and rivers so that they can … propose love to them.

“This is a criminal offence. If they want to propose to young maidens, they should turn to modern technology like using cellphones,” Magwaza-Msibi said.

Some young men have reportedly complained that the installation of standpipes near residences is “robbing them of an opportunity to propose”.

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