WC govt needs nearly R3bn to tackle drought

On Monday, Premier Helen Zille announced a three-month disaster declaration will be gazetted this week.

FILE: The Theewaterskloof Dam near Cape Town. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – The Western Cape government estimates it will need around R3 billion to contain the province’s drought situation.

On Monday, Premier Helen Zille announced a three-month disaster declaration will be gazetted this week.

Cape Town water consumption is still exceeding the 600 million litres a day target by almost 100 million litres.

The Western Cape is currently experiencing its worst drought since 1904.

And it’s going to cost billions to mitigate the effects.

At least R27 million has already been spent on interventions in the areas declared local disaster areas.

An inter-ministerial committee will be meeting regularly to assess threats and recommend interventions.

The premier’s spokesperson Michael Mpofu says immediate interventions include the drilling of boreholes and desalination.

“We’re looking at prioritising high-risk water scarce areas. For example, we’re looking at drilling boreholes at hospitals and then after that, you would look at schools, which are very crucial.”

Cape Town’s average dam level now stands at 20.5%, down 0.7% points from last week.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)