City finds solutions to curb Newlands spring congestion

2018-02-06 06:00

The City of Cape Town has condemned an incident where two men were allegedly involved in a fist fight over whose turn it was to fetch water from the Newlands spring.

The fight reportedly occurred after midnight on Monday 29 January while hundreds of people were queuing for water in an attempt to save municipal water during the ongoing drought.

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety, security and social services, says: “Earlier this week, a physical conflict broke out and a person was arrested by the police.”

He says there have also been complaints about congestion and noise by residents and the nearby old-age home.

“Unfortunately, due to the high number of residents wanting to access the site to collect water, there is a great deal of congestion and this is making it more difficult for people trying to access the spring. The surrounding neighbours and particularly the adjacent old-age home are also being adversely affected.

“The congestion and noise from cars and persons visiting the site at all hours of the day and night is causing many complaints from the surrounding community, and often Kildare Road and Springs Way, which are simply not wide enough to handle the volume of vehicles trying to access the springs, are blocked,” he says.

He says the City is busy trying to finalise solutions to these problems, which would including using the Newlands swimming pool as a collection point in the hopes of introducing a manageable system and security, also allowing spacious parking for motorists. He says this would be a short-term arrangement to try and manage the increasing tension and congestion at the site.

“It is clear that the short dead-end street, the narrow access via Kildare Road and the lack of parking are not suitable to support the large number of vehicles trying to access the spring.

“Therefore, in the next month we will be rerouting the spring water from this spring to the Newlands swimming pool site 700m down the road, which is located on Main Road and which has much better parking and space available.”

Smith says that in the interests of improving the management of the site, the following arrangements will be applicable at the site from Thursday 1 February:

. Springs Way will be managed 24 hours a day by City Law Enforcement ­departments.

. Traffic Services will be on site daily to manage congestion and parking and to assist vehicles entering and exiting Springs Way.

. The site will be accessible to vehicles between 07:00 and 22:00.

. A Venue Operations Centre will be established and personnel will be posted at this site 24 hours a day to ensure that it is managed optimally and that people are safe.

. In the interests of speeding up the queues and allowing everybody fair access to the spring water, each person will be permitted to only fill containers of up to 25 litres at a time to ensure that no single person holds up the queue – people are welcome to rejoin the queue to fill more containers, but it is becoming essential that all those visiting the site be given a fair chance to collect water.

Smith also thanked residents for their efforts to improve the City’s water security by collecting natural spring water for their personal use.

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