SA’s entitlement mentality is in full force

As Day Zero inches ever closer and indeed is being escalated – now from 22 April to 12 April – indiscriminate use of water is not even on the authorities’ radar – so it seems, while the entitlement mentality of some of our citizens defies belief

taxisEven during the severest drought in 100 years, sectors of the population don’t get the message that restricting water usage to essentials use only, contributes to the greater whole and not the individual…
Image credit: Zululand Observer

Mixed messages of how the City is not only running out of water but so too, revenue (having just dodged the bullet of an additional ‘drought tax’ being imposed) – because the majority of residents are adhering to the restrictions (51% was cited) – is filling the airwaves with paradoxical information, if you consider that now, word on the street is that only 31% of Capetonians are sticking to their 87ℓ per day limit. So, what is happening to the other percentage?

Come Day Zero, all businesses and homes will have their taps turned off, with people having to queue for their (reduced) 25ℓ of water per person, while informal settlements will continue to have access, albeit at reduced water pressure – free.

According to Patricia De Lille (Cape Town’s tentative mayor) as she explains what will happen on Day Zero, “We have to exclude the densely populated areas like the informal settlements. If we turn the taps off there‚ we face significant risks in those areas like disease. The rest of Cape Town will have to collect water from a predefined area from 200 sites around the city.”

Watch this video filmed by a Capetonian ‘Gershwin’, posted on his Facebook page, of Capetonians indiscriminately washing their vehicles during the worst drought in 100 years…

This, while the hospitality sector – one of the key sources of revenue for the Western Cape – is doing its utmost to conserve, preserve and restrict its water usage, while continuing to contribute to the economy.

What is going on here? Where are the authorities enforcing the water restrictions in informal settlements?

Dr Anthony Turton, environmental advisor, speaker and author had this impassioned view to share on the Cape Town water crisis, “The Cape Town water crisis is far too serious an issue to continue to politicise… Nowhere in this communication is there any acceptance of responsibility, but more importantly, nowhere is there any empathy for the plight of the citizens and businesses affected.

“The leadership vacuum is equally distributed across both the ANC and the DA. The simple constitutional fact is that central government is responsible for bulk water provision, and municipal government is responsible for the reticulation of water within their boundary, as well as the collection and treatment of waste water return flows.

“Day Zero is an indictment on our young democracy, on the governance structures, on the law and on the decision-making procedures.

“Government’s role is to mitigate the impact of drought by the provision of infrastructure.

“Now is the time to face the music, limit the impact, reduce the loss of life and livelihoods, and ensure that South Africa emerges as a stable democracy in which all can reach their full potential, in dignity, without fear or favour.

When storage reaches 13.5%, the City will turn off most taps, leaving only vital services with access to water – oh, and informal settlements.


 

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