CAPE TOWN, South Africa, June 20, 2020 — With more than 100 days since the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown on 27 March 2020, the Department of Water and Sanitation in the Northern Cape has distributed 884 water tanks for water supply, 15 284 hand sanitizers, 2 380 face masks and 65 000 rubber latex gloves to vulnerable communities with medium and high residential densities, including informal settlements. This follows the call by the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Ms. Lindiwe Sisulu, to assist the efforts of Government against the spread of the COVID-19.
The acting Provincial Head of the Department of Water and Sanitation in the Northern Cape, Mr Kobus Streuders, says delivering these services was not without its own challenges.
“Of the 884 tanks delivered, 585 are permanently installed, 778 are in use and 193 are temporarily installed. Community protests in some areas are hampering and delaying the construction of stands as communities demand stand pipes rather than plastic tanks.”
The DWS further urges “municipalities to accelerate the process of connecting the installed water tanks to existing water reticulation systems as the decommissioning of water trucks has already begun. Of the 80 water trucks allocated to the Northern Cape, 21 have already been decommissioned.”
“Another factor slowing down the process is due to the vastness of the Northern Cape and the remoteness of the settlements. Some contractors are not willing to transport building material to far away areas and this also delays the construction of stands for the water tanks.”