'Embarrassing' - SA reacts to images of Eastern Cape government foot-operated taps unveiling

The foot-operated taps were unveiled in the Eastern Cape at the weekend.
The foot-operated taps were unveiled in the Eastern Cape at the weekend.
Image: Eastern Cape Cogta

One SA leader Mmusi Maimane and radio personality Redi Tlhabi have joined dozens of South Africans in reacting to the unveiling of foot-operated taps in the Eastern Cape.

The 200 foot-operated taps and eight washing basins were unveiled at the weekend and handed over by the MEC for the department of co-operative governance & traditional affairs, Xolile Nqatha, to the Amahlathi and Enoch Mgijima municipalities.

According to the department, the hand over was a partnership between the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), the National Business Initiative (NBI), the department of water & sanitation, and the Grundfos Foundation.

Nqatha said the partnership was “to realise a better life for all the people of the province”.

“Ours is to harness the coalition of the willing to build the South Africa we want, especially under the threat of Covid-19 pandemic. The equipment, we welcome it to save lives and protect livelihoods,” he said.

Programme manager at the NBI, Ruth Troskie, said the foot-operated water taps offered “a simple yet effective solution to enable safe access to water and improved hygiene”.

“The equipment has been tested to ensure the durability of the technology. It also requires minimal maintenance and provides water at an optimum flow level, which will provide a safe hygiene solution for decades to come,” she said.

The department said the handwash facility 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,” the department said.

Many were up in arms after pictures of the water taps in the province surfaced on social media, with Maimane calling the unveiling “embarrassing”.

Here is a snapshot of some of the reactions.

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