Water rules washed away

Catherine WynSculley, Plumstead

On the morning of Monday November 26, my mother and I arrived at the Newlands spring water collection point at 5am. The place looked like an industrial zone, with 25-litre bottles stacked everywhere.

At each of the taps, people were filling up more than their quota.

We were only collecting 25 litres in standard blue spring-water bottles each – I had five, and my mom had five. But, we who were following the stated policy had to stand in line waiting while others were abusing the system.

I am writing to the local newspapers to help ensure that the 25-litre rule is enforced throughout the water-collection period, from 5am to 11pm. People must abide by the law. Lawlessness cannot start at a water collection point in the affluent suburb of Newlands.

People must be more considerate of each other when doing their bulk water collection.

Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for informal settlements, water and waste services and energy, responds:

The water and sanitation department has noted complaints regarding abuse of the Newlands spring water collection point and is taking action to manage the collection site as best as possible within available resources and capacity.

The City has increased oversight of the informal helpers operating at the site.

A total of 16 informal helpers have been screened by the SAPS and have been issued with ID cards and reflector vests.

Anyone without an ID card is not allowed to assist there, and law enforcement can be called on to remove them if necessary.

Written “code of conduct” agreements have also been signed by them, and the agreements include the conditions under which they can assist at the site. As a result, the conduct of the helpers has generally improved.

In addition, arrangements have been made for two law enforcement officers to be stationed permanently on site from 1 December 2018. Furthermore, the water and sanitation department, together with Metro police, are working towards installing CCTV cameras on site by the end of February 2019.

The cameras will face inwards and out towards the Main Road, and the system will have a loudspeaker included.

A licence plate recognition system will also be installed so that regular users can be identified and excessive use clamped down on. Signage about the 25-litre restriction on the collection of water per person has also been posted at the site.