Capetonians should revolt over water: Max du Preez

Cape Town residents should be forming ratepayers’ associations to fight for change in the city. Capetonians are placid about the water crisis, and the city has been “fiddling” with tenders to provide desalinated water far too late in the day.  These are the views of  author and journalist Max du Preez, who delivered the Barry Streek Memorial Lecture

“I am surprised how placid Captonians are about the water crisis,” said Du Preez, a former editor of the Afrikaans weekly anti-apartheid VryeWeekblad, told the Cape Town Press Club.

He said the administrators of the city had been warned long ago about the pending water crisis. “The administration was warned,” he said.

Du Preez hinted that there could be a public backlash against the Democratic Alliance administration of the city over its handling of the water crisis. “We have known for two years that (the city) was heading for a disaster.”

All the city had done was to force citizens to save water. While the response had been good – and he hoped that the water-saving regime would continue to be adhered to – there seemed to be “fiddling” about tenders to solve the crisis. This had carried on for far too long.

While the DA administration had otherwise run a good city and Cape Town was seen as “a South African model city,”  the water crisis had blotted the city’s copy book. The city was a prime tourist attraction. “Now we are heading for a situation … perhaps soon… (when we will) have to go with plastic canisters and get water from a tank.”

“We are going to tell millions of tourists and all the citizens that they are not allowed to flush the toilets twice a day… and only (to) take a shower once a week.”

“This should never have happened in a world-class city.”

Max du Preez delivered the annual Barry Streek Memorial Lecture at the Cape Town Press Club. Du Preez worked with the late Streek as a parliamentary journalist.

3 Comments on "Capetonians should revolt over water: Max du Preez"

  1. Where does one point fingers to?? The DA has not met their mandate of water supply in taking proactive steps to address the problem but one also wonders how much higher tier game playing is involved as this is a wonderful opportunity for the ANC to “put the screws” on the administration that was showing them up… If council has to get emergency funding from the national government which has a foetid rotting head then no wonder we are in the mess we are! At any rate, Fingers need to be pointed.. this is not the citizens fault.

  2. The DA had better look out they are slowly but surely causing a lot of unhappiness in the Metro and people are very fickle, Many of the same people will easily start voting for the anc as they are made promises by the anc
    I personally think they have misjudged the seriousness of the water crises and I see no easy solution for this
    Again the old story the few maintain the poor and the poor just demand more and more free instead of getting off their backsides and start working
    Where i live in Thailand the unemployment is less than one percent and there are no grants of any kind for the poor

  3. The myth that Cape Town is well run has led to a smug attitude on the part of the 28 000 council employees, 8000 of them managers in offices where it is not possible to remain in touch with reality. There are only 800 000 ratepayers and 4 million inhabitants. Since that leaves more than three million who do not pay rates it is clearly unsustainable. Rates have gone up and up as have the costs of electricity and other services. The City is ripe for a ratepayers’ revolt.

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