Minister Sisulu warns municipalities against cutting water supply to residents 04 April 2020
The Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, has appealed to municipalities throughout the country to refrain from abrupt cutting of water supply to residents as this deprives them of their basic human right of access to clean water. The practice also hampers the government’s efforts to fight the spread of Coronavirus.
The government has embarked on a national drive to encourage all South Africans to wash their hands with soap and water regularly to stem the tide of the virus.
The Minister’s appeal comes against the background of thousands of frantic callers to the Call Centre of the Department of Water and Sanitation who complain about municipalities who have cut off water supply to residents who are in arrears or for no apparent reason. Most of the complaints were from Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
“I appeal to municipalities who are guilty of this practice to switch on the water supply immediately. This is not the time to be punishing our people for failing to pay their water bills. We must all rally around the government’s call to wash our hands frequently in order for us to defeat the scourge of COVID-19,” Minister Sisulu said.
She said the department is currently rolling out the distribution of jojo tanks to all needy communities throughout South Africa to enable them to adhere to the practice of regular hand washing. The maintenance of hygiene standards by everyone was key to containing and eventually defeating the pandemic, she said.
The Minister appealed to citizens who are still to receive water tanks in their areas to be patient as government continues with the rollout.
Department of Water & Sanitation