City turns off the tap for madrassa and feeding scheme

Fatima Philander opens the waterless tap at her home.

Two children’s care organisations were left without water for almost three weeks after the City of Cape Town disconnected their water.

A feeding scheme and madrassa in Moria Street in Tafelsig has had no water since September 29. The organisation feeds approximately 200 people twice a week and has 120 pupils at the madrassa.

Tafelsig resident Fatima Philander who runs the feeding scheme and madrassa said she was not able to wash, make food and or even do their dishes without water.

“We have to wash and fetch water from our neighbours. It is not nice to keep asking people for water, as it is something basic. More importantly, we use water for food for our community and for the children when they come to madrassa.

“We have being (running the) madrassa for 10 years and the feeding scheme for six years and we have never had a water issues until this year,” she said.

Ms Philander added that the City had replaced their water meter without her permission, on Saturday September 30. “We did not sign anything to have the meter replaced, and that’s when all our problems started.

“On October 1 we had a function to celebrate Muharram, and still didn’t have water. We called the City numerous times, got reference numbers but still no water,” he said.

Her husband Rashaad, said he had been to the City of Cape Town’s office in the Promenade mall and explained to the official the problems they were having. He said they currently had a bill of R12 000.

“We are aware of our arrears. In January we were in arrears of R2 000 to R3 000, then months after that it fluctuated, hitting over the thousands. We don’t even use that much water for a month. So obviously because of the high amounts we could not keep up.

“And during that time we tried contacting the City about the high bills. Eventually, after the water was switched off and the meter replaced, we went in to make arrangements and made a payment of R832 on October 7 and they ensured us that the water would be switched on, but since then still no water,” he said.

Tafelsig resident Janap Hendricks, who runs an educare, has been without water since Friday October 7. Ms Hendricks said she desperately needed water for the children. “The children have to use the toilet, eat food, drink water, do the dishes and clean themselves. It is ridiculous, the City is denying residents basic rights such as water. We are asking that the City be considerate and assist us with the basic need,” she said.

Ms Hendricks said she had made contact with the City, because her water meter was stolen on Tuesday October 10.

According to Ms Hendricks, while City officials had been at her place, she still had no water.

When asked about these complaints, the City told the Plainsman: “The City of Cape Town is looking into the particulars of these cases and will revert as soon as possible”.