CAPE TOWN – The SA First Forum, a South African citizens’ protest group, has called for City of Cape Town authorities to be removed and says Western Cape provincial government has failed to manage the city’s water shortage effectively.
Cape Town has ramped up water restrictions which come into effect from 1 February. Residents will be allowed to use 50 litres per person per day --about two-and-a half standard buckets -- down from the current 87 litres allowed.
This, as the city continues to struggle with a three-year-long drought due to a lack of rains that traditionally filled catchment areas.
Day Zero is now estimated to be on 21 April 2017.
“We demand that there be accountability and consequences for this monumental mismanagement of the water situation in Cape Town,” the group said in a statement issued late Tuesday.
“We feel that a credible and competent group of people be appointed as the “Administrator” to diligently take charge and find a solution to the problem that has been coming on for a long while,” it said.
The #SA1st Forum also called for a civil society-led Water Summit to be held where solutions to the water crisis can be considered. “Out of the box thinking is required to ensure there is a credible plan to the water crisis that all sectors of society can buy into,” the forum said.
The Western Cape Water and Sanitation Department has in the interim embarked on oversight visits to farms in Citrusdal to investigate whether famers are sticking to the prescribed usage limits.
They will also check if any illegal dams and boreholes are being used.
On Monday, Premier Helen Zille said she’d ask the president to declare the drought a national disaster.
A brand reputation specialist said he did not believe the current water crisis in Cape Town would have a negative impact on the tourism industry.
“There has been very broad, transparent communication by the city officials as well as the provincial government of the Western Cape," said brand specialist Solly Moeng.
"There has been broad coordination by all players in the economy… all those players who matter, who have to play a role, including the community.
"The general public in Cape Town have rallied and mobilised to start looking at the demand and supply side of managing this thing.
"So I don’t see it having a negative impact on the image, the brand of Cape Town and the Western Cape.’
African News Agency