The Safety and Security Directorate of the City of Cape Town has put out a tender for a 5000 litre water cannon.
The procurement of the water canon, which will be used to disperse local protest action, has raised alarms for trade-unionist Tony Ehrenreich.
Ehrenreich, the Western Cape Secretary for Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), says that the purchase is about silencing complaints around the lack of service delivery.
He says the City ought to spend money on addressing the problems faced by Cape Town communities, instead of on protest management.
We are concerned that there is a lack of political leadership and JP Smith should preempt the service delivery problems by investing in the causes. Instead they are finding different ways to brutalise communities and undermine protest action.— Tony Ehrenreich, Provincial Secretary of Cosatu
But according to JP Smith, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, the water canon is necessary as a result of continuous public disruptions and political agendas.
Smith says that the a majority of illegal protests are instigated by Ehrenreich and Ses'khona Peoples Rights Movement affiliates.
We are forced to get a vehicle that can push the debris from the roads and douse the fires from burning items.— JP Smith, MayCo Member for Safety and Security
Listen to the full conversation from CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies: