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Cape Town Suspends Water Restrictions For Debt To Fight Covid-19


December 12, 2017. People queue where they fill up their water bottles at Muizenberg spring in Cape Town . PICTURE: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES

Cape Town is temporarily suspending new water restrictions for residents who are in arrears with municipal accounts and facing debt management action as a health precaution during the coronavirus pandemic.

The city said in a statement on Friday that the move was an “extraordinary decision taken during an extraordinary time”.

 Regular handwashing with soap is one of the key steps that people can take to protect against infection, along with social distancing and cleaning of household surfaces used frequently.

“The city urges customers to accept this temporary action in good faith and to continue to use water sparingly and only for health and hygiene purposes.

“At the same time, customers must continue to pay for services to ensure the city remains financially healthy and is able to provide the necessary services especially during a time of crisis.”

The city said a careful balance was needed as finances could become strained as measures were implemented to help manage the situation and urged residents to be mindful of water consumption.

Other debt management mechanisms such as those performed via electricity disconnections or deductions from electricity prepayments will continue.

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