Water management device concerns tabled

Tafelsig households have been without water for almost a week after water management devices (WMD) were stolen.

Caroline Marinus, 63, who lives with her daughter, her grandson, his wife, and great-granddaughter, 2, in Voelvlei Street, said it was unfair that they had lodged several complaints to the City of Cape Town since Thursday March 15 but the problem had still not been resolved by yesterday, Tuesday March 20.

Yesterday Ms Marinus told the Plainsman they were having to buy water. “Our neighbours are tired of giving us water. What are we supposed to do,” she said.

“They could have sent us water or switched the water on by now, because it just took them two minutes to switch off the water,” said Ms Marinus.

Washiela Harris, DA Proportional Representative (PR) councillor in Ward 99 (Tafelsig – east of Waboomberg Close, Baviaanskloof Street, Bokkeveld Avenue, Olifantshoek Street, Waaihoek Street, Tafelberg Street, Voëlvlei Street, Langeberg Avenue, Piketberg Street, Keeromberg Street, Benfica Road, Bavern Munich Road, Huguenot Avenue; Khayelitsha, Good Hope, Endlovini informal settlement, Wolfgat Nature Reserve, Monwabisi and Kuyasa), which is part of Sub-council 10 in Khayelitsha, said she had fielded four complaints about stolen WMDs in the past week.

During the Wolfgat Sub-council meeting on Friday March 16 she spoke out against shoddy workmanship on the installation of the devices.

“It is pathetic. Residents are complaining but they are getting no feedback,” she said.

“I think the WMD needs to be built in more solidly to prevent it from being stolen and leaking,” she said.

Sheval Arendse, councillor for Ward 82 and chairman of the sub-council, thanked the officials for their hard work and speedy response but echoed Ms Harris’s sentiment.

“Something needs to be done because we as councillors are being accused of enforcing the installation of the WMD but it is not working,” he said.

Meanwhile, the City continues to encourage residents to save water.

In a City media statement dated Tuesday March 13, Deputy mayor Ian Neilson said while the potential for Day Zero (when the municipal supply of water to most taps will be shut off) has been moved to next year, “the drought is still very real and the associated threat to water supply remains a reality”.

Willem Doman, DA Proportional Representative (PR) councillor in Wolfgat Sub-council, applauded the concept of Day Zero, saying it had “concentrated our minds and gave us a goal, according to a calculation, which showed the residents of Cape Town what was working and warned of climate change”.

Mr Doman made these remarks in response to South African Human Rights’ Commission Western Cape Commissioner Chris Nissen’s comments in the media about the manner in which Day Zero messages were communicated to the public.

He had also pointed out that the commission was concerned that access to clean water, a basic human right, was being threatened as the country celebrated Human Rights month.

“We need to be very careful how we send messages out. You can’t say Day Zero is now, and then you extend it, and then say oh, it may or may not happen, because already you’re sending confusing messages,” he said.

The change of Sub-council 12’s name to Wolfgat Sub-council, which was proposed in 2016, was finally adopted by full council on Tuesday March 6.

The car-free corridor for Open Streets has doubled in length for this year’s event on Eisleben Road on Sunday March 25, between noon and 5pm.

Last year the dual carriageway area blocked off to vehicular traffic was just more than a kilometer long.

This weekend it will be 2.3km, straddling several communities from Lavender Road in Lentegeur including Woodlands; and Montagu Drive bordering Portland and Rocklands.

It will be the third time since 2016, that a road in Mitchell’s Plain is car-free.

Organisers hope to create a longer car-free route on Eisleben Road and to continue the campaign to build solidarity and resilience around the water crisis.

Last year Eisleben Road was car-free between Wespoort Road in Westridge and Spine Road in Portland, with close to 7 000 participants.

The Open Streets programme, is a collaboration between the Transport and Urban Development Authority and Open Streets Cape Town (OSCT), a citizen-driven NPO working to change how people use, experience and perceive streets.

Road closures will be in place from 11am until 6pm. No motorised vehicles will be allowed to Eisleben Road, between Lavender and Montagu Drive; intersections of Morgenster Road, Silversands Avenue and Wespoort Drive will remain open to motorised vehicles, with pedestrian crossings at these points on the Open Streets route.

Public transport operations will continue with route deviations on the day.

For more information email info@openstreets.co.za, call 021 286 0823, visit www.openstreets.org.za or tweet @OpenStreetsCT