City extends condolences after fatal shooting while teams inspect ablutions in Khayelitsha

28 Jul 2023 in Where We Govern

While performing routine site inspections to evaluate janitorial services for taps and toilets in informal settlements, a shooting incident claimed the life of a security guard and injured another who remains in critical condition in hospital. The security guards were escorting Water and Sanitation inspectors assigned to ensure that cleanliness, repairs and maintenance standards are being met, when shots were fired at their vehicle. Read more below:

The City of Cape Town’s Water and Sanitation Directorate is deeply saddened by the senseless, violent attack on teams assigned to work in informal settlements, while they were at work performing their duties in Site B, Khayelitsha yesterday, Wednesday, 26 July. Following a site inspection, bystanders shot at the private security personnel who accompanied the City inspectors.

Due to the sharp increase in staff being targeted while responding to service delivery needs, measures have been put in place to assign security escorts for teams conducting inspections, attending to burst pipes, clearing sewer overflows, providing oversight of cleaning of toilets and teams repairing taps for clean access to water in all hotspot areas such as informal settlements.

‘I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to the family, loved ones and staff affected by the death of the security official, who lost his life in this horrific manner,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Sanitation, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.

Due to the frequency of security incidents involving Water and Sanitation staff in informal settlements, R1,9 million was set aside in the previous financial year for security escorts. This budget has increased to R8,5 million in the current 2023/24 financial year due to the alarming rise in incidents.

‘We have committed resources and adjusted operations to mitigate risks to staff however; we remain relentless about seeking solutions with input from communities where violence is perpetuated. The City’s only objective is to deliver essential services for clean water and dignified sanitation to all of our communities, particularly the most vulnerable living in informal settlements. It’s unacceptable that it has become a norm for officials at the front line of service delivery to have life-threatening experiences while at work,’ said Councillor Badroodien.

A case has been opened with the South African Police Service and counselling provided to the affected staff members through the City’s Employee Wellness Programme (EAP). The anxiety and emotional distress of working in such an unpredictable environment cannot be underestimated.

We encourage the public to assist us with any information which can lead to an arrest by calling our toll-free, tip-off line on 0800 110 077. Tips are relayed to a City agency that works directly with Law Enforcement and the SAPS.

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