Social media users have been up in arms after pictures of Eastern Cape officials handing over water taps in the province surfaced on social media.
The MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Xolile Nqatha, officially handed over 200 foot operated taps and eight washing basins to the Amahlathi and Enoch Mgijima municipalities on Friday.
“Ours is to harness the coalition of the willing to build the South African we want, especially under the threat of Covid-19 pandemic. The equipment, we welcome it to save lives and protect livelihoods,” said Nqatha in a statement.
In one of the pictures, Nqatha can be seen demonstrating how the taps operate, as other officials look on. But South Africans were not impressed and took to social media to voice their opinion.
“This is very embarrazzzing. Are they not embarazzzed?” Asked One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane
The handover was a partnership between the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), National Business Initiative (NBI), Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and the Grundfos Foundation.
Ruth Troskie, Programme Manager (Technical Assistance, Mentorship & Development) – TAMDEV at the NBI, confirmed the system has been developed by the NBI in conjunction with a South African retired water engineer.
“The equipment has been tested to ensure the durability of the technology. It also requires minimal maintenance and provides water at optimum flow level, which will provide a safe hygiene solution for decades to come,” explained Ms Troskie.
The handwash facility, according to the department, has a limited surface area to prevent contamination, making it an ideal solution during and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The unit’s longevity makes it suitable for hygiene access at schools, clinics, informal settlements and anywhere where safe public handwashing is needed.
“Hundreds of additional foot-operated water taps and public handwashing facilities will be installed in identified densely populated communities of the Eastern Cape Province,” reads the statement.
Nqatha further handed over park home offices donated by his department to the Amahlathi Local Municipality, yesterday, according to the department.