WC govt urged to do more to protect Philippi Horticulture Area

Activists want authorities to consider harvesting water from the Cape Flats Aquifer an integrated water system.

Philippi Horticulture Area Food and Farming campaign’s Nazeer Sonday hold a placard behind Environmental Affairs MEC Anton Bredell at the Cape Town Press Club. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Activists have challenged the Western Cape government to do more to protect the Philippi Horticulture Area from private developers.

Protesters from the Philippi Horticulture Area Food and Farming Campaign picketed ahead of Environmental Affairs MEC Anton Bredell's briefing on the province's water situation at the Cape Town Press Club on Thursday.

Demonstrators want authorities to consider harvesting water from the Cape Flats Aquifer, an integrated water system that runs underneath the horticultural area.

The campaign's Nazeer Sonday says, “It’s in the best interest of every citizens in the city that we protect our area. We are finding that the politicians are not doing their job, they are doing the opposite. They are looking at how to benefit developers and they are privatising our commons, our water, our food for the benefit of a few developers.”

DROUGHT

Meanwhile President Jacob Zuma has stressed government's commitment to mitigating the impact of a drought gripping parts of the country.

Addressing parliament on Thursday, the president emphasised the Water and Sanitation Department is working hard to improve water infrastructure and to promote conservation efforts.

The Western Cape is among the hardest hit regions with dams feeding Cape Town running dangerously low.

Zuma's address on water supply in the country comes at a time when parts of the Northern Cape province are crippled as a result of water shortages.

He reassured the nation of governments' efforts to mitigate the negative effect of the drought.

“Government through the Department of Water and Sanitation has spent over R500 million on emergency and short term interventions.”

Zuma has promised the water and sanitation programme will continue throughout the country.

(Edited by Neo Koza)