HELEN ZILLE MUST STOP TRYING TO SCORE CHEAP POLITICAL POINTS WITH THE LIVES OF THE POOR

10 03 2009

COALITION AGAINST WATER PRIVATISATION
PRESS STATEMENT
Tuesday 10th March 2009

CITY OF CAPE TOWN ‘WATER MANAGEMENT DEVICES’ ARE NOTHING MORE THAN PRE-PAID METERS IN DRAG
Helen Zille and the City of Cape Town need to stop trying to score cheap political/elections propaganda points and be honest with the people of Cape Town (see press statement of City of Cape Town below). The so-called ‘water management devices’ are simply pre-paid meters in drag. Like the pre-paid meters which have been declared unconstitutional and illegal by the Johannesburg High Court, these devices dispense the 6000 ‘free’ litres per month/per household and then automatically cut off.

The additional amounts offered to those who sign up on the patronising and discriminatory indigency register is exactly the same option given to residents in Johannesburg with pre-paid meters. As our ongoing constitutional rights water case shows so clearly, the real issues are ones of lack of administrative justice, racial and class discrimination, lack of choice of water delivery mechanism (meters) and lack of access to sufficient quantities of free water (linked to the unaffordability of access to the minimum amount deemed necessary for basic human needs/dignity – i.e. 50 litres per person per day).

Helen Zille must stop pretending that she (like all those who live in the middle and upper-income suburbs of our urban areas) is like millions of poor residents. Unlike the poor, Zille and her class ‘comrades’ can afford any amount of water they so desire for their households (which have many fewer members than those in poor communities) and have the choice of any of the water delivery mechanisms (meters). The poor have no choice. Zille’s cheap and disingenuous attempt to present herself and Cape Town’s ‘water management devices’ as anything but patronising and anti-poor, should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves.

For further comment contact:
Dale McKinley on 072 429-4086

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CITY OF CAPE TOWN
MEDIA ALERT/PHOTO OPPORTUNITY
09 MARCH 2009

Mayor to have a water management device installed in her home

Tomorrow, Tuesday 10 March 2009, Cape Town Mayor Helen Zille will have one of the City of Cape Town’s new water management devices installed in her home in Mowbray.

The City’s water management devices are designed to measure out a specific amount of water per day so that customers can save water and ensure that they do not run up bills that they cannot pay through excessive use or leaks. These devices are set to deliver 6000 litres of free water per month, or 10 000 litres free to those people registered on our indigency database. Customers can have the device set to deliver more according to what they need and what they can afford.

The Mayor will have one of these devices installed in her own home to show that they are for the benefit of all Cape Town’s residents, that they are not pre-paid water meters and that they are installed on a voluntary basis.

DATE: Tuesday 10 March 2009
TIME: 11:30

VENUE: Meeting point at corner of Woolsack Drive and Main Road, Mowbray, or call Robert Macdonald for Mayor’s address

Issued by: Communication Department, City of Cape Town
Media enquiries: Robert Macdonald, Cell: 084 977 9888

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