The organisers of the Cape Town Cycle Tour have taken unprecedented measures to ensure the race goes ahead, even while the city endures a severe water crisis.

At a press briefing on Monday, organisers said they will take the race off the municipal water grid, meaning no water from the city’s already scarce resources will be used during the race.

“Eliminating the event’s reliance on municipal drinking water will be achieved through a variety of strategies. These include bringing water in from upcountry for drinking and ice on the route and using locally-produced desalinated water for all cleansing purposes. Water stations along the route will be reduced to the 14 essential from a medical point of view,” organisers said in a statement on its website.

“The majority of Cape Town Cycle Tour participants are residents in Cape Town and surrounds. Approximately 15 000 riders participate in the Cycle Tour from outside the borders of the Western Cape, including international entrants. As we have their details on our system, we are able to communicate directly with them to ensure they understand the severity of the drought situation in Cape Town. Those travelling by road to the Cape will be encouraged to bring sufficient drinking water with them for their own daily consumption,” the statement said.

“We believe we have arrived at a solution that achieves the balancing act we were hoping for – one that takes cognisance of our fellow Capetonians’ concerns, while ensuring that we are still able to hold the event in order to support the charities that rely on the Cycle Tour and to boost the economy of the City of Cape Town at this time of need.”

Less than two weeks ago, organisers of the Cape Town Cycle Tour said they were working to ensure they have a “zero” water footprint amid the Western Cape’s water crisis, and that rumours of the Cycle Tour has been postponed or cancelled as a result of the severe water shortages in the Western Cape, were unfounded and not true..

Last year the cycle tour was cancelled on race day due to strong winds, and concerns for participants safety.

Some of the initiatives Cape Town Cycle Tour organisers have committed to:

  • All suppliers related to Cycle Tour will be signing service level agreements specifying their usage and where that water comes from, and requiring a commitment to our Water Policy. No suppliers may utilise water for our event that comes directly off the City Grid.
  • Cycle tour has 360 toilets that are utilised throughout the event. Sanitech is our service provider and all water utilised by them will be greywater, obtained from various treatment plants.
  • Waterless soap solutions are being provided as opposed to wash basins for handwashing.
  • We will be monitoring and educating spectators on route to ensure there is no spraying down of cyclists or portable pools in use on event day.
  • All water ballast previously utilised for weighting down structures has been changed to cement blocks.
  • All refreshment station water will be privately supplied and will not come from the City water grid. We are also providing clearly marked grey water systems whereby excess water will be put into grey water bins provided and taken to a water treatment plant post Cycle Tour.


The Cape Town Cycle Tour will be staged on 11 March 2018, with a new Start at the Grand Parade Precinct.


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