Day Zero has been brought forward by nine days – the City of Cape Town announced yesterday. Day Zero is now expected to arrive on 12 April. The City’s dam levels are currently sitting at 27.2%, a 1.4% decrease from last week.
Yesterday Western Cape Premier Helen Zille held two press conferences to discuss plans when the taps are turned off. Details surrounding what exactly will happen on Day Zero remain extremely sketchy with the Premier not divulging into much. She also called for President Jacob Zuma to intervene and declare the city a disaster zone.
The Western Cape Government has already diverted over R369-million in funding towards disaster interventions – including water supply projects, drought relief for farmers and water security measures at key government service points.
Premier Zille met with National Disaster Management, the South African Defence Force (SANDF), the State Security Agency and other role players in Cape Town. Various representatives of the Provincial Disaster Management team presented the province’s plans for Day Zero. Zille also met with South African Breweries at their Newlands facility, to discuss the bottling and distribution of 12-million bottles of water to parts of the City should the taps be turned off in residential areas.
She used the opportunity to stress that residents need to start using 50 liters, “The only thing that will save us is if everyone cuts their water consumption for all purposes to 50 liters per person per day,” she said.
The City of Cape Town announced tougher water restrictions will be set into motion on the 1 February.