A jug of tap water at the dinner table may soon be considered a luxury at Cape Town restaurants, as the Mother City’s eateries buckle down on water-saving methods following the announcement of level 5 water restrictions. With commercial properties having to reduce water consumption by 20% since last year, restaurant owners are making some changes.

Hotels like Table Bay Hotel at the Waterfront and Tsogo Sun have already began implementing various water-saving methods and techniques in their bathrooms, swimming pool and laundry facilities, and it seems like restaurants are following suit with regards to their tap water policies.

Owner of Ristorante Club Italiana in Rugby, Cape Town, Tony Marchbank, has told his customers that they’re welcome to request a glass of tap water, but finds that guests don’t drink all the water in a jug for the table.

“We do functions for 500 people and more sometimes – that’s a lot of water going to waste!” he said.

Marchbank has had to reduce his water consumption by 20% since last year, along with other commercial property owners, as the latest round of restrictions came into effect.

Owner of Bacini’s on Kloofnek, Raimondo Napoli, is also considering getting rid of jugs of water.

“Everybody gets them, but nobody drinks the damn things!” he said.

Chief executive of the National trade association for the hospitality industry FEDHASA, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, says that while the situation is very serious for the hospitality industry, they are committed to ensuring that targets are met.

“We need to tighten our belts and we haveĀ one this already. We have had to ask ourselves how we can contribute to the saving of water and keep service numbers at the highest level.”

He also said that the service industry should take on the responsibility of informing visitors to the Western Cape of the severity of the drought.

“If you enjoy the Cape and its splendour, you need to be informed of the issues its currently facing.”

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