A petition to prevent the closure of the popular Springs Way natural water collection point in Newlands has gained hundreds of signatures within days.

The petition had been started by local businessman Riyaz Rawoot, following allegations that the City of Cape Town planned to close the water collection point.

Rawoot said everyone should have access to the spring water, which has been around for decades.

He started the petition four days ago and has already received 400 signatures.

Approached for comment on the closure of the collection point, the City failed to respond before going to print.

“It is unfair to close access to free water. This is the best water. I remember collecting water here as a child. This water comes from the mountain,” Rawoot said.

“They should leave these outlets we need the water because it is a life necessity and people have been coming here for years.

“Why not maintain the collection point and improve it? Make it more accessible to more people, everybody needs it.”

Rawoot plans to continue his petition. His action follows an e-mail sent by Ward 59 councillor Ian Iversen in May in which he said that level 4 water restrictions were to be implemented and that it would apply to water from natural springs around the city too.

In the e-mail, Iversen said: “The mayor (Patricia de Lille) has made the point that these restrictions also need to apply to the ‘free water’ from springs around the city, and therefore people will be restricted as to how much water individuals are allowed to collect.

“A meeting will be held this coming Friday with SA Breweries and the Water Department to discuss the spring in SpringsWay off Kildare Road, Newlands, and how to address the current situation.

“Some of the suggestions being discussed will be to reroute the water from the spring to link it up to Albion springs to be integrated into the municipal water system, or to SA Breweries for collection at the depot.”

Rawoot said Iversen never reverted to the community, but understood that the closure of the collection point was still being considered so he started his petition.

Meanwhile, Emmanuel Ziziba helps Capetonians collect and carry water at the collection point every day.

“Many people come here every day I’d say more than 500 a day,” Ziziba said.

“I help people collect water from the fountain, and carry bottles to their cars.

“If this fountain had to be closed, I would feel really bad because it is like my job I don’t charge people but some do give me tips.”

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