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Zille: WC water crisis could threaten economic progress

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille says that for the economy of the province to grow, it also has to become more energy secure.

FILE: Premier of the Western Cape Helen Zille. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN – Premier Helen Zille says the province's precarious water situation could threaten economic progress in the Western Cape.

Delivering her State of the Province Address on Friday, Zille said indications are that provincial water demands will exceed the current supply by 2019.

Zille says that for the economy of the Western Cape to grow, the province also has to become more energy secure.

Premier Helen Zille says national and provincial government are discussing major interventions to address water shortages in the province but all of these come at a hefty price.

A desalination plant for Cape Town will cost at least R15 billion and operational costs could run up to a billion rand a year.

This month the provincial government will also be launching a campaign to encourage businesses to switch to solar.

Zille says the province will support the City of Cape Town in legal action to allow the municipality to purchase power from independent power producers.

The Western Cape government wants to enable the independent generation of 135 megawatts of power by 2020, through solar panel installations.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)

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