South Africa

South Africa

News flash: Maimane steps in, prepares Cape Town for disaster measures

Mmusi Maimane was met with (largely) thunderous applause as he addressed a packed and sweltering hot Joseph Stone Auditorium in Athlone on Wednesday. On the cards: water shedding and a stepped-up roll-out of Water Management Devices as the DA leadership steps in with its more aggressive #DefeatDayZero campaign. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.

Capetonians must prepare themselves for interrupted water supply in the coming weeks which may last as long as 12 hours at a time, DA leader Mmusi Maimane told a packed Joseph Stone Auditorium in Athlone on Wednesday morning.

The new water management team, which was currently installing as many as 2,500 Water Management Devices per week, would also be accelerating its installation programme in a bid to bring consumption down to 450ML per day.

As things stand, Day Zero is projected to occur on 12 April – moved forward from the previous estimation of 21 April 2018. This is due to a drop in dam levels over the past week.

Despite this, the DA leader took a sombre but reassuring tone as he addressed media and other Capetonians. Maimane, accompanied by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, Mayco Member Xanthea Limberg, Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson, Environmental Affairs MEC Anton Bredell and Western Cape DA leader Bongkinkosi Madikizela, addressed three key points:

  • Where we are at
  • What we are doing
  • What we all need to do to avert Day Zero.

He provided more details than have previously been communicated on both disaster management plans and the status of augmentation programmes, confirming that some 120ML per day would be available through augmentation schemes by May 2018. This, he reiterated, would not be enough to avert Day Zero – the primary strategy remained to reduce consumption drastically.

Regarding disaster management, details remain sketchy, though Maimane said plans were in the offing to increase the number of available collection points, and Premier Helen Zille was negotiating with the private sector to arrange water drop-offs to reduce the impact on businesses. DM

Photo: DA leader Mmusi Maimane addresses Capetonians in Athlone on Wednesday, outlining the DA’s plan to #defeatdayzero. Photo: Leila Dougan