Cape Town – Petitions have started making the rounds on social media calling for the cancellation of a water slide event scheduled to be hosted in Cape Town next month.
A 304m slide will be erected in Constitution Street in the city centre on December 19 and 20 and February 6 and 7.
According to the event’s website, the slide’s decline will be between 12 and 45m, with a 26m pool to catch sliders. It will use between 30 and 40 kilolitres of water per event.
The event will also take place throughout the country from December to February.
But while Slide the City’s website says spring water will be used and transported to the event in tankers, people have slammed an event taking place at a time of countrywide concern over water scarcity. There is drought in a number of provinces, with KwaZulu-Natal the most affected.
Two petitions – one demanding for the event to be cancelled across the country and the other calling for its cancellation in Cape Town – have picked up support fast, with about 4 400 signatures by Sunday.
Derna Stemmet, the nationwide petition creator, said: “We all know South Africa is going through a big water crisis and holding such an event in numerous cities is definitely not going to help.
“Citizens are being told to use water responsibly and sparingly, to understand the value of water, but at the same time government is allowing an event to take place using 30 000 to 40 000 litres of water per event.”
Stemmet said the water could be used for a better purpose.
The other petition, Stop the City of Cape Town From Allowing Slide the City Events During a National Water Crisis, says it would not only be irresponsible, but unjustifiable to allow frivolous use of clean water at this time.
But spokesperson Priya Reddy said the city would not provide treated drinking water for the event.
“Non-potable spring water is being provided. Forty kilolitres charged at the applicable tariff will be transported to the organisers’ holding pool by tanker.
“Treatment of the spring water will be performed by the organisers on site.
“We applaud the public’s rightful concern over the prospect of wasteful consumption of our most precious resource, but would like to assure them that the use of drinking water for this event was never contemplated.”
She said the organisers would be urged to make the water available for irrigation of nearby parks or recreational facilities after the event.
Slide the City says they recirculate water during the day and in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Nelspruit, Knysna, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth, the water will be put through a filtration system, then into tankers and delivered to the municipality to be used where it is needed most.