Day Zero’s arrival date has been pushed back to 20 May 2018, a prediction from the City of Cape Town for the day where the remaining water in dams will be deemed as unusable.

It’s difficult to ascertain at this point if the proposed date may be pushed back or brought forward, but according to Mayor Patricia de Lille, Day Zero will begin when dam levels reach 13.5% – at which time city-wide taps will be switched off. But how will the rest of it play out? We have painted a picture of the possible scenario.

  1. Residents will have to queue for water daily.
  2. Residents will have to collect a predefined quantity of drinking water per person per day from approximately 200 collection sites across the city.
  3. The allotted quantity will be based on the minimum requirements for people to maintain health and hygiene.

At the moment, the plan is that we will distribute 25 litres per person per day which is in line with the World Health Organisation recommendation. This estimation has been set at 20 000 people per site per day, where the South African Police Service and the National Defence Force will be present to ensure the safety of residents at these sites and maintain general law and order.

Progress on desalination plants is underway, as the City prepares to roll out seven new sites before mid-2018 and avoid the worst-case scenario of Day Zero.


Photography thefransiman

Article written by

Justin Williams

Justin Williams is a born-and-bred Capetonian with a flair for writing. His icons include the late South African authors Lawrence Green, Eric Rosenthal and T.V. Bulpin, literary figures who continuously inspire him to cover the avenues of lifestyle, travel and nature in a local context. When Justin's not covering a story, he can be found in the mountains - he's a renowned wild food forager and is currently learning herbalism.