Parched Cape taxpayers fork out for Zille’s R90‚000 water purifier

14 September 2017 - 19:25 By Aphiwe Deklerk
Premier Helen Zille. File photo.
Premier Helen Zille. File photo.

Western Cape taxpayers have forked out more than R90‚000 for a water purification system for the benefit of Premier Helen Zille and her family.

The plant‚ installed last month‚ will purify water from a stream at the premier’s official residence‚ Leeuwenhof‚ so that it is drinkable.

It has been installed amid stringent water curbs — and indications that Zille’s family has failed dismally to meet consumption targets set by the City of Cape Town‚ where she was formerly mayor.

The expenditure was revealed on Thursday by public works MEC Donald Grant‚ responding to a question in the provincial legislature.

“A water purification installation to purify the stream water on the site was installed earlier this month at the cost of R92‚754‚” he said.

“Once the City of Cape Town’s water inspectorate has assessed the installation and approval has been obtained‚ the water will be directed to the residence for drinking water.”

Grant also said Zille’s household used 32 kilolitres of water in July and 14kl in August. In the year to date Leeuwenhof residents had used an average of 165 litres each per day.

Asked by ANC chief whip Pierre Uys about the number of people in the house‚ Grant said there were four but cautioned that his answer was speculation as he was “very seldom in Leeuwenhof”.

If Grant’s information is correct‚ the four people living at Leeuwenhof each got through 258 litres a day in July‚ and 109 litres in August — significantly above the city-wide target of 87 litres.

Zille’s spokesman‚ Michael Mpofu‚ said with the installation of the purification system Zille was trying to stop using municipal water entirely in order to augment city council demand management efforts.

“Leeuwenhof has a natural spring that flows underneath it from the Table Mountain‚ so the plan is to purify that and replace the municipal water‚” he said. “If she is cut off from the system‚ how is she wasting?”

Mpofu could not confirm the number of people living with the premier.