Ac­tivists: ‘Day Zero is fake’

The Witness - - NEWS -

CAPE TOWN — About 20 mem­bers of a coali­tion against the pri­vati­sa­tion of wa­ter de­scended on West­ern Cape Pre­mier He­len Zille’s of­fi­cial res­i­dence Leeuwen­hof in Cape Town yes­ter­day to fill their wa­ter con­tain­ers from a tap out­side her gate.

They claimed that #DayZero was fake news. “The City is de­lib­er­ately creat­ing a scarcity, scar­ing the peo­ple about the Day Zero,” said Sha­heed Mo­hammed, a com­mit­tee mem­ber of the Tafel­sig Ac­tivists Fo­rum (TAF), out­side Zille’s gate, while po­lice looked on.

“Day Zero is a myth, Day Zero is fake, it’s news be­ing pro­moted by the City and by the prov­ince,” said Mo­hamed. He said there was wa­ter avail­able, but that the City was “creat­ing” the scarcity which had led to calls for a dras­tic re­duc­tion in wa­ter con­sump­tion. This had led to the con­struc­tion of tem­po­rary de­sali­na­tion plants and the drilling of the Mitchells Plain aquifer at great cost and po­ten­tial en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­age, he said.

The group says there are 70 springs around Cape Town that should be freely ac­ces­si­ble to the pub­lic, and that gates should be opened if they are on locked sites. It also wants old un­der­ground tun­nels re­opened and re­ha­bil­i­tated so that the wa­ter there can be used, in­stead of run­ning into the sea.

Mo­hamed said the de­sali­na­tion and aquifer plans were ex­pen­sive and would harm the fish­ing in­dus­try.

The ac­tivists re­leased a state­ment ear­lier invit­ing peo­ple to go to Zille’s of­fi­cial res­i­dence to fetch wa­ter, say­ing she had in­vited them. But yes­ter­day, only about half a cup of wa­ter came out of the foun­tain be­fore the flow stopped. A po­lice­man ex­plained to the group the pu­rifi­ca­tion sys­tem was not work­ing. A sign warned the wa­ter was not drink­able. The group, which com­prised union­ists, res­i­dents and ac­tivists in a “Wa­ter Coali­tion”, said they would write to Zille for clar­ity on why they were not able to get wa­ter as per her in­vi­ta­tion, and when they could come back. — News24.

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