Minister Nomvula Mokonyane on drought situation and interventions implemented in Cape Town

Minister Mokonyane meets Mayor of Cape Town on drought

Today, Minister of Water and Sanitation, Ms. Nomvula Mokonyane, met with the Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Ms. Patricia De Lille and the Minister of Local Government, Environment and Development Planning in the Western Cape, Mr. Anton Bredell, to again assess the Western Cape drought situation and interventions under implementation currently.

The Mayor appraised the Minister on the City's plans towards what has been termed 'Day-Zero' and the current challenges in achieving the City's targeted use of 500 Mega Litres (ML) of water per day. The city is currently using 618 ML meaning more is required to achieve the targeted levels.

On 28 September 2017, the department gazetted changes to the water restrictions being implemented in the area, increasing restrictions for domestic use to 40% from an initial 20% previously and to 50% from 30% for industrial use.

Minister Mokonyane has again urged the City to address water losses due to leaks as a mechanism to further prevent unnecessary water losses.

"Working with the City and Province, we will support initiatives that provide innovative and sustainable water security solutions. The increased exploration of ground water resources and the re-use of water are amongst the solutions we are talking to", said Minister Mokonyane.

"As the department we will be fast-tracking the implementation of the Berg River/Voelvlei augmentation scheme and are targeting a completion date by the winter of 2019. Similarly plans are afoot to commence with work on the raising of the Clanwilliam Dam wall as a matter of urgency."

Concerns however remain regarding illegal connections and dams that are emerging in farming areas, abstracting water for agricultural purposes during this period. The department, working with the Province and the Green Scorpions is attending to these matters and increased enforcement of laws and by-laws will be effected.

Similarly, water use licence applications currently with the department from the province are being expedited to provide for future water security and efficient planning on solutions to be implemented during this period.

The Minster and the Mayor have also agreed on a process of further engagement with all the relevant stakeholders, community and business, to further grow the partnership on water savings and providing long-term sustainable solutions in the context of the 'new normal.'

Minister Mokonyane has thanked the citizens of Cape Town and businesses that have responded to the calls to use water wisely. "We urge those that are yet to respond, to do so urgently, the situation is dire and requires all to play their part in saving the available water resources and avoiding Day Zero."

Source: Government of South Africa