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Wed Jul 5 10:50:28 PDT 2006
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View article without comments Away with pre-paid water meters
by apfmedia Tuesday, Sep. 02, 2003 at 4:07 AM
Johannesburg Water Company (JOWCO) has embarked on a programme of installing pre-paid water meters throughout Soweto in what they are calling Operation Gcin'amanzi.
JOWCO is claiming that they have consulted with Soweto
residents widely and that this operation is designed to enhance and extend
the people of Soweto's right to affordable, quality water, They claim that
the poor will benefit by being able to "own" their water consumption. They
claim that the free 'lifeline' provision of 6000 litres of water per month
is enough to meet the basic needs of a majority of households. And, they
claim that those who oppose Operation Gcin'amanzi are criminals who have
political agendas designed to undermine people's access to water.
None of these claims are true. Operation Gcin'amanzi is a huge fraud. It is
a cynical campaign to increase the profits of JOWCO at the expense of the
poor. It seeks to deny the basic right of all South Africans to water.
Operation Gcin'amanzi started in the Phiri section of Soweto two weeks ago
with JOWCO having to bring in the notorious 'Red Ants' to protect them from
the community itself. The vast majority of the Phiri community (supported by
the Soweto Electricty Crisis Committee/Anti-Privatisation Forum) have, in no
uncertain terms showed their rejection of this fraud. Several residents have
been arrested and charged with 'malicious damage to property' after
resisting JOWCO's attempts to dig pre-paid pipe trenches and bring in
containers. In a large march to the local, ANC-dominated Council offices on
22nd August, the voice of residents was clear:
We reject pre-paid water meters in our area
We do not want pre-paid water meters in Phiri. We don't want pre-paid water
meters in Soweto. Just as we are fighting against the pre-paid electricity
meter that ESKOM is busy installing, we also don't want the pre-paid water
meter. The prepaid meter means that only the rich will have water. If you
have no money you will not have water.
We were not consulted about the installation of pre-paid water meters
This is a democracy. You cannot just come into our area and change our
water system without consulting us. This is a top-down way of running
government. The constitution of the country and the Water Services Act says
that residents must be consulted if there are to be any changes in their
water supply. Neither JOWCO nor any councillor has ever called any meeting
where we were informed about Operation Gcin'amanzi. We have never given any
of our councillors any mandate to agree to the installation of pre-paid
We are against the privatisation of water
We are opposed to the ANC government's GEAR policy that allows our water to
be owned and run by private companies. The capitalists that run JOWCO only
want to make a profit. That is why they are installing the pre-paid meters,
to make sure that we pay. We are opposed to our water being handled by Suez
Lyonnaisse des Eaux, the French multinational company that effectively
controls and runs JOWCO, which was found guilty of bribery in Paris in 1989
and which has a long record of gouging massive profits from poor people
across the world. We don't want JOWCO to make profits from supplying water.
Water is a human right, not a privileged commodity that can only be enjoyed
by those who can afford it. Everyone must get water.
1.. Stop Operation Gcin'amanzi now and halt the installation of pre-paid
water meters in Phiri with immediate effect
2.. Stop the criminalisation of dissent against Operation Gcin'amanzi.
3.. Johannesburg Water Company must remove its containers from our streets
4.. Water workers must be paid a living wage - no to casual labour and
5.. JOWCO and the Johannesburg City Council must produce the Water
Services Development Plan for Soweto so that residents can comment and give
6.. Councillor Kunene (Phiri) and his senior management must resign. By
agreeing to pre-paid water meters they no longer represents the residents of
7.. The ANC government must reverse its policy of privatising water,
electricity and other basic services.
8.. All public service providers must provide free basic services for all.
Basic human rights cannot be held hostage to the inhuman policy of
capitalist 'cost-recovery' that makes water and other basic services
privileges only to be enjoyed by those who can afford to pay.
The APF, along with the residents of Phiri and all of Soweto will not be
fooled by the fraud that is Operation Gcin'amanzi. If JOWCO thinks that
their strong-arm tactics, arrogance and contempt towards poor communities
will work, they are sadly mistaken. Expensive public-relations campaigns in
the print and visual media will not save Operation Gcin'amanzi. The APF will
not stop struggling until Operation Gcin'amanzi is dead and buried.
STOP PUTTING PROFITS BEFORE PEOPLE
WATER IS A RIGHT, NOT A PRIVILEGE!
For further information contact:
SECC - Trevor Ngwane on 083 293 7691
APF - Dale McKinley on 072 429-4086
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by sunday ifebajo Saturday, Oct. 04, 2003 at 2:51 AM
sifebajo at rccg.org 2348033504700
This is the best way way to improve revenue generation in a state and also to takle the proble of bill distribution,which mean you only pay for what you consume.I am a pre paid engineer and i know all the merit on pre-paid.It should be encourage and introduced in my country Nigeria
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by Liaquat Ali Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2003 at 8:22 PM
faiz at spacelab.net
Water should be free, especially in the poor areas. This is what the Qur'an says:
11:64 (The feudal lords had been depriving the poor of using the land
and its natural resources of water and vegetation.) Saleh said, "O My
people! This she-camel belonging to Allah shall be a token for you.
So leave her alone to graze in the land belonging to Allah. Do her no
harm, lest speedy punishment befall you (91:13)." (This verse along
with 55:10 pronounces one of the most revolutionary concepts of the
Qur'an. The land, the earth is owned by none but Allah and must be
open for all His creation as a means of sustenance. Hence, all
landlord-ship is contrary to the Divine Ordinance. In the Divine
System, the Central Authority will see to it that any piece of land
will be for those who toil in it and give Allah His Right, the poor-
55:10 And (know that) the earth He has spread out for all His
creatures. ('Anam' = All living beings).
7:73 The people of Thamud were successors to Aad. To them We sent
their brother, Saleh. He said, "O My people! Serve Allah. You have no
other god but He. The Clear Truth has come to you from your Lord.
This is the she-camel of Allah, a token for your obedience. So let
her feed in Allah's earth and do not harm her lest painful torment
seize you." (Their feudal lords controlled land, crop, oases and
water resources, and the weak were suffering. Saleh assigned a she-
camel as a symbol of their reformation).
26:155 He said, "Behold, this she-camel. (She represents the weak and
poor). She being (ownerless) has the right to drink at the well, just
as you have the right to water (your flock) at the time of watering.
add your comments
by Tonya Askins Wednesday, Apr. 28, 2004 at 11:07 AM
tonka_02 at yahoo.com
How can they be getting away with such a thing? We need to organize a world wide resistance to these corporate giants.
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