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January 31, 2018

#WaterCrisis : Rules Change For Newlands Springs

City Finally Moving The Newlands Spring After Conflict During The Week

31 January 2018/ Brandon Lee Westraat



Almost two months ago I got to witness the first rush of people arriving at the Newlands springs in cape town. At that point, it was those who saw the difficulties to come and were beginning the preparation process. There was no discrimination, no rush, no fighting just calm collected people arriving from all over the area and cape town. It was cool to see everyone giving each other a helping hand, no matter what the social class or race, truly just South Africans helping South Africans. There was even a line of people, strangers to each other, creating a line to fill up a ladies water drum she brought on the back of her old bantum bakkie.

Now just last week that is a faint memory as the scene is now totally different. The panic has set in and those who didn't think the water crisis was real or thought it wouldn't touch them have begun the panicked rush to stock up on water wherever they can find it. This, in turn, has created a lot of difficulty at the Newlands springs as its only one road in, and the same road out. You can imagine the frustration from the community as people are visiting the site day and night, causing a lot of commotion and noise which can’t be averted, but when you have an old age home just across the road, you can expect the complaints to come rolling in, and fairly so. With all this going on it has proven too much for some, and earlier this week, a physical conflict broke out and a person was arrested by SAPS.

With Day Zero looming, The city of Cape Town has decided to change the rules for the Newlands Spring.They have decided to reroute the spring in February and we are all hoping this will help the congestion.

So the City has released these terms hoping to improve the management of the site. Starting from Thursday 1 February, these arrangements will take place:

Springs Way will be managed 24 hours a day by City enforcement departments. Traffic Services will be on-site daily to manage congestion and parking, and to assist vehicles entering and exiting Springs Way. The site will be accessible to vehicles between 07:00 and 22:00. A Venue Operations Centre will be established and personnel will be posted at this site 24 hours a day to ensure that it is managed optimally and that people are safe. In the interest of speeding up the queues and allowing everybody fair access to the spring water, each person will be requested to only fill containers of up to 25 litres at a time to ensure that no one person holds up the queue – people are welcome to re-join the queue to fill more containers, but it is becoming essential that all those visiting the site be given a fair chance to collect water without some delaying the queues due to filling up hundreds of litres at a time.

Don't worry though because this is just a short-term fix until they reroute the collection point to the Newlands swimming pool, that is only 700m away from the original location.