Give us water!
Councillors in the City of Johannesburg spent the first 30 minutes of the council meeting demanding water.
Under usual circumstances, all 270 councillors are greeted by plastic water bottles in front of their chairs but on Tuesday, the water bottles were missing.
Before the meeting could proceed with the business of the day, the election of portfolio chairpersons and the much contested chair of chairs position, councillors demanded water bottles be placed in the chamber.
ANC councillor T Mhlongo accused council speaker Vasco da Gama of holding councillors to ransom by not providing easy access to drinking water.
“When are councillors not given water? When did it start? Also, there was a meeting and this water business was never raised otherwise we would have taken it to our caucus,” Mhlongo said.
Da Gama said water bottles could not be brought inside chambers as councillors used them to hurt each other during Thursday’s chaotic meeting.
“There are water points outside the doors and if councillors are thirsty, they can go outside,” he said.
This was followed by brief shouting with some saying “water is life” and they also deserved the same rights as residents.
Soon after, a video emerged of security guards seated in a different room with water bottles in front of them.
ANC councillor Mpho Moerane questioned why guards were given water and not them.
“Can those people please be removed from the boardroom because by being there they are forming part of the meeting,” Moerane said.
Council adjourned for 30 minutes.