Cape Town springs reopen under strict Covid-19 restrictions

But conditions apply

17 June 2020 - 10:18 By Philani Nombembe
Cape Town residents may fetch water from the city's springs again.
Cape Town residents may fetch water from the city's springs again.
Image: Esa Alexander

Capetonians can now quench their thirst at the city’s springs.

This is after the city announced this week that springs will open under level 3 of lockdown. But there are conditions - one of them being clean, sanitised hands.

In a statement, Xanthea Limberg, the mayoral committee member for water and waste, said the Newlands and Bradwell springs reopened on Monday.

“The water and sanitation department has received clearance from city health and law enforcement to open the two city-managed spring water collection points in the metro,” said Limberg. “Residents who visit these sites are asked to please take note of the new health and safety protocols.”

Limberg said both sites would be open seven days a week - from 5am to 9pm.

However, the sites reopened with stringent rules because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Water collections are limited to 25 litres at a time to prevent “backlogs from forming”.

Water collectors are not allowed to enter the sites without a mask and they should maintain a physical distance of 1.5m at all times. They should also sanitise their hands when entering the sites and “ensure your container does not touch the tap”.

On its part, the city will open eight of the 16 taps at the Newlands spring site to ensure social distancing, provide additional security “to manage the physical distancing, parking arrangements and other Covid-19 regulations”. The city will also provide hand sanitiser at the entrance.

“Security will be monitoring and ensuring that containers do not touch the bottom part of the tap,” Limberg said. “This water is not for commercial use, and may not be sold. City staff will monitor the site and act on municipal transgressions as they arise.”

Limberg reminded residents that “the spring water is not treated, and it is used at the residents’ own risk”.

“Recognising that these sites are very important to many residents, and their significance in the city’s culture, a special effort was made to open the spring water collection points as soon as we could. We kindly ask that residents comply with health and safety measures to allow everyone to use these sites safely and efficiently,’ said Limberg.