Day zero can be pushed back, says JP Smith

Cape Town dams are currently below 30% and not enough residents are saving enough water to avoid day zero.

FILE: Cape Town residents collecting water at the Newlands springs in Cape Town. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town will on Sunday unveil its plans for day zero.

The Western Cape is currently experiencing its worse drought in more than 100 years.

At a planned briefing scheduled for later on Sunday, the Water and Sanitation Department will reveal how it plans to manage day zero and beyond.

Cape Town dams are currently below 30% and not enough residents are saving enough water to avoid day zero.

When day zero arrives on 12 April people will have to queue in line for 25 litres of water per person per day.

Mayco member JP Smith says this day can be pushed back if people use water sparingly.

”The pods are not a foregone conclusion… they’re not unavailable. We do not have to queue for water. If we all frugal in our usage… if we all meticulous in saving water, we can prevent ourselves from being in a situation where we are required to queue for water.”

Meanwhile, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane will on Sunday meet with the Cape Town Press Club to address the province’s drought crisis.

WATCH: Capetonians scramble to stock up as day zero draws closer

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has appealed to Cape Town residents to stick to water restrictions implemented by the local government.

The City of Cape Town has set a restriction of a maximum of 50 litres of water per day per person.

The SAHRC’s Gushwell Brookes said: “We appeal to people because it will take everyone’s effort, in this instance to deal with this issue, to stick to the current water restrictions so we can try to delay day zero.”

The SAHRC says it can confirm that the City of Cape Town has a plan to delay day zero predictions if residents play their part by reducing their water usage.

Brooks says the commission will monitor the City of Cape Town while it implements its plans.

“The commission has received a couple of complaints related to this particular crisis. But rather than focusing on those individual complaints, the SAHRC would rather play a role in ensuring the city does its part, and that it does its best in distributing water assuming day zero does approach.”

WATCH: Maimane launches #DefeatDayZero plan


Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane on Wednesday assured a crowd of supporters in Athlone that a new Drought Crisis Team will be able to avert day zero, with the help of community members keeping daily consumption at a minimum.

He said that if decisive action is not taken, day zero might arrive sooner than expected.

Maimane added that he’s aware of the public unhappiness, concern and confusion with the manner in which the DA-run city has handled the water crisis so far.

The DA leader reiterated that his team will do whatever it takes to avoid Day Zero.

Additional reporting by Kevin Brandt.