I’m writing this as the chair of the Onrus Ratepayers Association and would like to inform the public about what, to my mind, amounts to discrimination against especially our elderly residents, of whom quite a number reside in my area.

Several of our members asked me to please enquire from the municipality if there could be a dispensation for those of us who are retired, the only remaining pleasure for some of whom is to still tend their own gardens. I have tried in various ways to communicate our objections, but without success.

The insensitive attitude of the municipality is reflected in the following feedback that I received via email from our DA representative:

I have already spoken to the Mayor and NO dispensation will be given for the use of garden hoses. Residents have to realise that, if we don’t have more rains soon to supplement the dam level, it could lead to a crisis in the new year. I have not watered my garden in two years and, to be honest, in current times a garden is a luxury.

Now I would just like to know the following, so that I can give feedback to my members:

How does one justify such water restrictions that allow and enable younger, healthier people to water their gardens with watering cans and buckets, while making it practically impossible for the old and frail? Remember, it was pertinently said that you may apply for a dispensation but it will be refused. Which is indeed the case, as several people have already tried, without success.

One of the ladies here in our retirement village had a fall while she courageously attempted, at the ripe old age of 94, to water her garden with a bucket. She now has to watch helplessly as her once beautiful garden dries up.

Mr Mayor, please stop discriminating against the elderly and give them the right, within limits, to water their gardens with a hosepipe.

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