Coronavirus: Cape Town suspends water restrictions for residents in arrears

2020-03-20 22:45
A general view of people at a testing site for Covid-19 at Mediclinc Durbanville on March 20, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa.

A general view of people at a testing site for Covid-19 at Mediclinc Durbanville on March 20, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Gallo Images/Jacques Stander)

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The City of Cape Town has temporarily suspended water restrictions for those who are in arrears with their municipal account because of the Covid-19 outbreak.  

In a statement on Friday, the City announced those who were in arrears and facing debt management will no longer face new water restrictions.

"This is an extraordinary decision taken during an extraordinary time," the statement read.

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"The City urges customers to accept this temporary action in good faith and to continue to use water sparingly, and only for health and hygiene purposes.

"At the same time, customers must continue to pay for services to ensure the City remains financially healthy and is able to provide the necessary services especially during this time of crisis."

The City added a careful balance was needed because it was reasonably expected that its finances could become strained as measures were implemented to help manage the crisis.

READ | Covid-19 breakdown: Gauteng worst hit as SA records 202 cases

"Customers should also remain mindful of water consumption during Cape Town's drought conditions and continued rainfall unpredictability, while ensuring appropriate personal hygiene measures are adhered to."

While the City will no longer restrict water as a form of punishment, other forms of debt management mechanisms, such as electricity disconnections or deductions from electricity prepayments, will continue.

As of Friday, the Department of Health announced confirmed Covid-19 cases have risen to 202, with the Western Cape recording 56 positive tests.

Read more on:    coronavirus

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