Khayelitsha residents picket for water as national Covid-19 lockdown looms
One of the co-ordinators of the picket, Sibusiso Mdlankomo, said: “We are calling on residents across the City to stand with residents from informal settlements and support our call for urgent access to water during the lockdown. The reality is, if we don’t have water before midnight on Thursday (today) a safe lockdown will not be possible in informal settlements.
“And that puts everybody at risk.”
The residents of Khayelitsha have been without water for two weeks.
According them, the City cut the water supply to the households due to account debt, and residents were now concerned about where they would get water from, during the lockdown.
“It has been 20 days since the first case was confirmed in the country and we now have two days until lockdown. Some informal settlements do not have any access to water.
“And too many are struggling with low water pressure and not enough working taps. Where we live, we are already most at risk of many other social ills affecting our communities.
“The sick and elderly are already at risk on a daily basis.
“Children are already at risk on a daily basis,” Mdlankomo said.
On Friday, the City announced the temporary suspension of new water restrictions for those who were in arrears with their municipal accounts and facing debt management action.
The residents held buckets up while picketing. They demanded that mayoral committee member for water and waste services Xanthea Limberg address them. Deputy mayor and mayco member for finance Ian Neilson said they were looking into the matter.
“It is unclear whether there is a lack of water due to water supply interruptions, if the water pressure is playing a role or if the customers have been restricted to a running trickle-flow of water due to municipal debt. If it is the latter, water is not cut-off. It is restricted to a running trickle-flow - the flow is reduced so that people can still use the water for hygiene and drinking,” Neilson said.@Mtuzeli