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Winklespruit Beach tap water is free for all – eThekwini

The eThekwini Municipality has confirmed that it is legal for residents to collect water from public taps. This comes after an outcry from residents because of people collecting many litres of water from the ablutions at Winklespruit Beach.

WHILE some residents might be disturbed by the sight of parched people filling containers with water from communal taps at beaches around Amanzimtoti, eThekwini Municipality has said anyone has a right to collect water from a public source.

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This comes after some raging debates on social media, with some residents saying water in Amanzimtoti public taps should be reserved only for people who stay in Amanzimtoti. According to people the SUN spoke to at Winklespruit Beach, who were filling buckets from a tap next to the ablution block, they have not had water for months at Bhekulwandle, just outside Doon Heights. Zenzele Jeza said his family has relied on water from public taps since the beginning of the year.

“Water supply in Bhekulwandle is very unreliable, and since I bought a car, I’ve been able to get water from the beach. Others have to rely on unsafe water sources,” said Jeza. His neighbours also rely on him for transport to the beach.

Hamish MacIntyre, who regularly walks his dog at Winklespruit Beach, asked if it was legal for people to get water from beach taps.

“On many occasions, I have seen bakkies parked on the road by the public ablutions with many water containers, ranging in size from 25 litres to 200 litres, which they are filling by attaching hosepipes to the taps/showerheads in the ablutions. While visiting a unit in the Warnadoone complex, the owner of the unit pointed out that it is now a daily occurrence,” said MacIntyre. He added that he believes the cost of that water will filter back to the ratepayers.

In response, eThekwini spokesperson Gugu Sisilana said all water from communal taps in the city is free for residents and is paid for by the municipality.

“Anyone has the right to collect water from communal taps. No one should stop people collecting the water as that would be against the law,” she said.

eThekwini, however, prohibits anyone from selling water collected from a public source.

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