Residents demand water

2020-03-26 06:04
From left Xolani Nyoka, Ndileka Mabusela, Makhanya Masande, Qaba Mbola, Zimasile Tembani and Jonathan Major. PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA

From left Xolani Nyoka, Ndileka Mabusela, Makhanya Masande, Qaba Mbola, Zimasile Tembani and Jonathan Major. PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA

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Amid fears over the deadly Covid-19 virus, the City of Cape Town has agreed to “temporarily suspend water restrictions” for households who are in arrears.

The announcement follows a protest by a group of Khayelitsha residents outside the local City of Cape Town offices on Tuesday 24 March.

Residents said they have been without water for at least two weeks. They urged the City to provide them with water to prevent the spread of the disease in the neighbourhood.

Harare resident Qaba Mbola said he has been without water for two weeks. “The City closed my water knowing very well that we are told to wash our hands regularly to reduce the risk of catching the Covid- 19,” he said.

Mbola said he is unemployed and cannot afford to pay his water bill. He urged the City to reinstate his water supply to minimise the risk of catching the virus.

He said many people around Khayelitsha are having problems with their water supply. He added that the City should be held accountable if any of the affected households gets infected by the spread of the pandemic.

Another resident Ndileka Mabusela from Makhaza said it has been a week since her water supply was cut off and it has been difficult for the family to survive. She said she relied on neighbours for help.

“They got tired of me asking them for water in order to cook, wash and relieve ourselves,” she said.

Mabusela said she is also unemployed and cannot afford to pay her water bill.

Subcouncil 10 manager Mandlenkosi Sitonga told the protestors that he heard about the issue of water in some houses in Khayelitsha. He promised to visit some affected households in a quest to help them.

However, in a statement released last week, the City said as a health precaution in light of Covid-19 there will be a temporary suspension of new water restrictions for those who are in arrears with their municipal accounts and facing debt management actions.

The City urged customers to accept the temporary action in good faith and to continue to use water sparingly and only for health and hygiene purposes.

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