Eternal spring of savings

Residents queue for turns at the water spring in Newlands.
Residents queue for turns at the water spring in Newlands.
Nomzamo Yuku

The Newlands spring helps save hundreds of kilolitres of water for southern suburbs residents.

The spring serves hundreds of residents from surrounding areas. It is reportedly providing them with fresh and tasty clean water.

When People’s Post visited the spring residents from as far as Grassy Park were there to fetch water.

One of them, Adiela Taliep, says she first went to the spring three months ago with the aim to play her role in saving water. She says she realised that she was not just saving water but money as well. She says in the past two months her water bill has dropped to zero rand as she has managed to only use the quota provided for free by the municipality.

A resident of Ottery, Fradie Johnson, says he does not mind driving a distance to get water as long as he knows he is doing something that is likely to benefit many and possibly save the city from a water crisis. He says he and his family try their best to save water.

Cheryl Campbell says the spring has always been there but the community never really cared about it until the water crisis worsened. She says the spring was only really put to use from March when community members quickly spread the word. She says it is easy to get water from it as everyone was willing to help each other and there is no limitation on how many containers one can fill at a time.

“I save four kilolitres per month since I started using the spring. I have been coming here since water restrictions were announced. The water is very beautiful and refreshing,” says Campbell.

A resident of Claremont, Rina Marais-Louise, says her grandchildren have become very restrictive with water.

“They say if we do not save water we cannot save the world. We can all do our part if we take care of water sources that are available and respect the issued water restrictions.”

The spring does not just save water and money but it now puts food on the table for Jongile Pupuma from Delft. Pupuma says he used to go to Newlands and Claremont to look for a job but never found anything serious. About two months ago he spotted the spring and started to visit it to quench his thirst. He then noticed how people were struggling to get water, with some ending up messing their clothes in the process.

“I saw two women struggling and getting themselves wet. I then offered to help them and they could see I was hungry so they gave me money in return. I went home that evening and I could not stop thinking about how the spring helped me that day because I actually did not have the bus fare to get back home. I went back the following day and offered my help for free but people started giving me money,” says Pupuma.

“For me it does not really matter how much you give because it makes a difference in my life. I can now buy food and clothes for myself and for that I am grateful to all the people who come to the spring.”

Xanthea Limberg, Mayco member for informal settlements, water and waste services, and energy, says while the City of Cape Town is in support of residents exploring alternative means of getting water for some of their needs, residents are reminded that the safety of the spring cannot be guaranteed by the City. She advises them to use the spring water for household cleaning or toilet flushing.

“The safety of water from alternative water sources, such as streams, springs and boreholes, for drinking purposes cannot be guaranteed.

“Should residents use water from alternative sources for drinking purposes the water [should be] boiled for at least one minute before it is cooled down and stored in clean containers. It is also advised that water disinfection tablets to further ensure the safety of the water for drinking purposes.”

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