CITIZEN INITIATIVE: The spring in Newlands boasts many outlets for water collection by this handmade structure created by Riyaz Rawoot. Picture: Courtney Africa/African News AgencyANA
Cape Town - Thousands of Capetonians have been making use of the spring in Newlands since the threat of Day Zero arose.

However, this may come to an end after the City sent resident Riyaz Rawoot, who created the water collection structure, a letter to remove it or face the consequences.

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The letter said the City had moved the water collection point to Newlands swimming pool and the structure erected at the spring was to be removed by Rawoot, or the City would take it down, leaving Rawoot to foot the bill. This caused outrage among residents who thought Rawoot should’ve been commended for his innovative structure.

Professor Steven Robins and Lauren Muller wrote to the Argus and said: “There was no public-participation process or acknowledgment of Rawoot’s civic contribution. We feel that the City has failed to recognise that Rawoot’s civic initiative was conceived during the Day Zero crisis.”

Newlands resident and founder of Reclaim Camissa, Caron von Zeil also said: “The City has received positive global attention for the commendable way in which our citizens have taken action in support of others and in their respect for a scarce resource and Riyaz Rawoot is no ‘ordinary citizen’.”

City of Cape Town director of Communication Priya Reddy said: “The Kildare spring licensing conditions does not enable it to be a collection point - it will either be utilised as a recharge to Liesbeek River or to enter the potable water supply. There is no proper drainage from the collection points into the system at Kildare, meaning there is water wastage.”

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Cape Argus