Way back when, in May of last year, Cosatu released a statement saying that the Western Cape’s water crisis would lead to “war and deaths”.
It all sounded a little hyperbolic, but as we finally wave farewell to the longest January in history things are already getting ugly.
December saw the popular Newlands Spring armed with an increased police presence, and now the City has had to take further measures “due to congestion and bad behaviour”.
That’s according to IOL, who add that the spring is set to be re-routed next month. Here’s Mayco Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith:
“Unfortunately, due to the number of residents wanting to access the site to collect water, it has made it more difficult for people trying to access the spring.“Earlier this week, a physical conflict broke out and a person was arrested by SAPS”.
There’s a rap sheet for the grandkids.
He went on to say:
“The surrounding neighbours and particularly the adjacent old age home are also being adversely affected. The congestion and noise from cars and persons visiting the site at all hours of the day and night is causing many complaints from the surrounding community and often Kildare Road and Springs Way, which are simply not wide enough to handle the volume of vehicles trying to access the springs, are blocked.“In response to these complaints, I conducted a site visit with officials from the Traffic Engineering Services and the Traffic Department to ascertain how the site can be better managed.”
After consultation with the likes of local councillors, enforcement services, and the Water and Sanitation Department, Parks and Recreation, a number of new rules take effect from today, February 1:
Due to its location, the logistics of so many visitors is tough to manage, and Smith outlined future plans to re-route the Spring very shortly:
“It is clear that the short dead-end street, the narrow access via Kildare Road and lack of parking are not suitable to support the large number of vehicles trying to access the spring.“Therefore, in the next month we will be re-routing the spring water from this spring to the Newlands swimming pool site 700 metres down the road, which is located on Main Road and which has much better parking and space available,” Smith said.“This arrangement will also reduce the impact on the old age home. This location is far easier to access and has ample parking, and will allow for easier management as well as faster and more convenient access for all people collecting water.”
A reminder that the Newlands swimming pool doesn’t look like it used to.
As long as the new plans allow those old folk a little rest, speed up the process, and stop people from being arrested due to “altercations”.
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