A lament to water

Barry Griffin, Lakeside

I read your article “Stop deliberating, start desalinating” (Off My Trolley, February 28) with much interest as it struck a deep-rooted chord in not just me, but I guess in many, many plain and simple minded, but logical, ratepayers of this mismanaged but beautiful city of ours.

I wonder if any other city in the world has had an increase in their water charge of 556% (<6Kl = R29.93, from February 1, from R4.56) and 195% (>6Kl<10.5Kl = R52.44 from R17.75) for these bands of water usage. It’s just ludicrous to say the least.

I would gladly pay double the rate of R5.50/Kl that GrahamTek would charge the City for
250 000Kl of desalinated water. That would give the City a 100% markup on the cost of this water, and if the City couldn’t make a profit out of that markup, something is seriously wrong with the City managers.

Most business managers would welcome a 100% markup with open arms. And just imagine the economies of scale which could be achieved if the volume was doubled to 500 000Kl a day.

This water crisis has been so cleverly engineered and publicised by the politicians running this city (so badly as well) that it has driven companies to become self-sustainable as far as the provision of both electricity and water goes. And guess what? A lot of private individuals are going the same route as well.

And once lost, those customers will never return to the City Of Cape Town.

So well done to the politicians of this City. You are effectively destroying your customer base one by one, and the truth of Margret Thatcher’s famous quote is coming to bear: “The problem with communism is that it will eventually run out of other people’s money to spend”.

Here is my lament to water and to the ratepayers of this city:

A Water Lament

Water, water everywhere

Our dams are dry, they do declare.

Water, water everywhere

I don’t understand, the sea’s so near.

Water, water everywhere

So much is wasted every single year.

Water, water everywhere

Our government simply doesn’t give a care.

Rise up fellow citizens, time to prepare.

Water, water everywhere

The cost will be for us to bear.

Water, water everywhere

In God we must trust, our burden to share.

Water, water everywhere

My body needs to drink it somewhere.

Water, water everywhere

Rain on me, I simply despair.