Communities Rally Against “Water Apartheid” In Cape Town & Gaza

Communities Rally Against “Water Apartheid” In Cape Town & Gaza

Various communities across Cape Town converged at the Cape Town Civic Centre to protest against what they term “water apartheid,” citing challenges such as pensioners struggling to access chronic medication without water and families grappling with exorbitant water bills while facing difficulties in cooking, cleaning, and bathing.

Organized by the African Water Commons Collective (AWCC) and backed by groups like African Artists Against Apartheid, Western Cape Water Caucus, SA Jews for a Free Palestine, the Witzenberg Justice Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and Environmental Monitoring Group, the demonstration aimed to shed light on the water-related hardships experienced by residents.

Ebrahiem Fourie, an AWCC member from Silvertown in Malmesbury, emphasized common issues faced by residents, including high bills, leaking pipes, and water meter problems. Residents, particularly in Beacon Valley, recounted scraping ice from freezers to take chronic medication due to water unavailability, highlighting the urgent need for a resolution.

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One of the key demands presented during the protest was the cancellation of water bill arrears. Participants argued that access to water is a basic need and called for the removal of the conventional meter system, which they deemed detrimental to the well-being of the people.

Meagan Biggs, a resident from Belhar, shared the abrupt cutoff of water without prior notice, urging authorities to provide free water to all residents. Concerns were raised about the impact on children’s health, as clinics are reportedly inundated with cases of illness linked to inadequate hygiene.

Busisiwe Lingani, a student from Siphamandla Secondary School in Khayelitsha and a member of Youth Arise, expressed frustration with ongoing apartheid-like conditions, emphasizing the persistent issues of inequality and racism. Lingani underscored the need for clean water and drew attention to unaddressed sewage problems in Khayelitsha.

The protest sought to draw attention to systemic inequalities and advocate for accessible, affordable, and clean water for all residents.

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