When the water warnings of “Day Zero” were issued months ago, like many other responsible citizens, I reacted.
This included ruining the aesthetics of my home, by replacing old underground copper pipes with new plastic pipes. I moved pipes from beneath paving, attaching them in sleeves to walls to ensure visible leak detection. Two huge tanks were installed into my tiny garden and connected to three gutter pipes to capture rain water. All toilets required re-plumbing to ensure the “captured water” was used for flushing via a centralized water pump and timer. The overall cost was about R50 000.
I expelled a tenant suspected of using my granny-flat as a stop-over for his friends and family to shower and do their laundry. The actions worked and my family water intake fell by about 60%.
My eco-warrior activity was however short-lived. While able to flush, the water pump increased my electricity usage. Sadly, my effort maybe in vain as ESKOM considers “black outs” because of their inability to maintain facilities and worker relations. Black-outs implies the water pump will not work and water must be carried manually as my toilets are disconnected from the municipal water supply.
Some of my neighbors spent R200 000 each to access underground water in rugged Walmer Estate. Sadly, this also requires an electric pump. Now, we must all buy petrol generators to flush toilets.
Foreign students and tenants who share homes in Walmer Estate with resident families are not going to carry water as they assume it is the duty of the landlord to supply water and electricity.
Those in government who are required to supply water and electricity get paid huge salaries, yet homeowners and tenant relations are strained over water and electricity usage. This implies more metering devices while the cost of governance ineptness is paid by taxpayers.
ESKOM is management heavy and their salaries require investigation. Nobody at Eskom must receive salary increases as the taxpayer cannot be held continually liable for their greed.
We cannot manage a country this haphazard mode. Every time some people get angry, there are shortages of trains or busses or electricity etc. in the entire country. How can a few, regularly force 50 million citizens to suffer? We need resilient federal states like the USA then regional negotiations will ensure regional services and we do not all have to suffer at the same time.
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress