Parched Cape Town imposes water restrictions due to drought


South Africa's Western Cape territory has declared drought emergency fiasco as it confronts its most exceedingly bad water deficiency in 113 years.

The drought-stricken Western Cape province, which includes Cape Town, was declared a disaster zone on Monday by Helen Zille, the province's premier.

The deceleration will be formally gazetted during the course of the week after it was adopted by the provincial cabinet last week.

During such a classification, the Disaster Management Act empowers the provincial government to protect key frontline service-delivery points by reprioritising funding.

Zille's office said yesterday that the province would maintain the disaster status for three months.

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According to the Premier, government will prioritise interventions based on the provincial Drought Risk Register.

Ms Zille said the presentation will imply that experts in the area can organize open assets for dry season alleviation operations.

"Funding will be reprioritized provincially and, should further assistance be needed, the province will approach National Treasury and the National Department of Water and Sanitation", the statement said.

She also announced plans to use a mobile desalination plant and tap the natural aquifer under Cape Town's Table Mountain.

The water crisis has forced the implementation of the provincial government's "Avoiding Day Zero" project, which includes a number of interventions that will be actioned nearly immediately.

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"We are essentially saying that you are only allowed to use a bit of water for drinking, cooking and washing", she said.

During the current declaration period, a provincial inter-ministerial committee - chaired by MEC for Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Anton Bredell - will meet regularly to assess immediate threats and recommend interventions.

"In the last year‚ at least R27m has already been reprioritised for interventions in areas which were declared local disasters".

Hydrological disasters were declared in Prince Albert, Witzenberg and Oudtshoorn, but through interventions, these localities are no longer deemed disaster areas.

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