Taking the crisis to task

2018-02-20 06:00

Ocean View residents will be forming a task team in preparation of Day Zero, the day when taps are expected to be shut off.

Members of the task team will be elected during a public meeting, which will take place on Saturday 24 February.

This follows a meeting with the South Peninsula Water Task Team (SPWTT) earlier this month. During the meeting, SPWTT member Marti Weddepohl explained how they formed the task team as a body of experts and professionals and started mapping the valleys water resources, explains Ocean View resident Sharone Daniels.

“She briefly explained they found quite a few springs in Ocean View. She also explained there will be a water point somewhere in the community to collect their 25F of water.

“When questioned as to why Ocean View was not included in the South Peninsula Task Team, the response was that Ocean View leaders do not want to be helped by outsiders and they were afraid of Ocean View’s community,” she says.

SPWTT was formed by concerned citizens who included local authorities and started meeting at the end of October, explains team member Natasha Hoffman.

“It was not formed initially as a community consultative forum; rather our first tasks were focused on understanding the water crisis, Day Zero and its likelihood, the water reticulation system itself and the unique possible impacts of the water crisis in the Far South.

“However, from inception the team have consulted with members of all communities and neighbourhoods for expertise, input, assistance, and involvement. One of our key first recommendations was that we engage community structures. We have been systematically engaging similarly with all communities across the Far South, hence the approach to and the response from Ocean View now, which we welcome. No community or neighbourhood has been deliberately excluded.”

Hoffman adds that the Ocean View Task Team, like other community response groups, has been invited to partner with the SPWTT efforts to mobilise all community members to using water, to mobilize community member groups or associations, to identify and plan assistance plans for the vulnerable should Day Zero occur and to feedback to the SPWTT.

Daniels also alleges the meeting on Thursday 8 February was to raise support for a water bottling plant in the community.

A decision was then taken to have a public meeting “where the community will all decided what the way forward is”, she says.

The meeting will look to form a local task team, which will have a representative on the SPWTT. It will also look to increase community awareness and to ensure their full participation.

Hoffman adds: “The team believes that the only way the South Peninsula will make it through a possible Day Zero scenario (or beyond), is to do everything we can to work together, across all communities.

“The potential impact of such an extreme dislocation of our day-to-day activities will impact every aspect of our lives. Any plans to work together that any community puts in place negates such negative effects. What an exciting opportunity to all work together and show the rest of Cape Town it can be done.”

V The meeting will take place on Saturday 24 February at 14:00 at the Ocean View Civic CentreV For more information on the South Peninsula Water Task Team or to get involved, email southpeninsulawater­@­gmail.com

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