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‘Social stability could come under threat in CT water crisis’

The city recently announced day zero, the day on which the taps are expected to run dry, could occur on 22 April, as dam levels continue to rapidly decline.

FILE: A shallow stream of water runs through the Theewaterskloof Dam on 11 December 2017, as the Western Cape is gripped by drought. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Economic trends commentator Daniel Silke says social stability could come under threat as Cape Town's water crisis continues.

The current crisis could also possibly have wide-ranging economic consequences for the city if it persists.

The city recently announced day zer o, the day on which the taps are expected to run dry, could occur on 12 April, as dam levels continue to rapidly decline.

Silke said: “Issues surrounding, firstly health and secondly the day to day stability of citizens, the safety of citizens as well. These will all impact upon the economy and there is an interconnectedness, there’s a complex puzzle between, of course, a scarce natural resource, a crisis and every single aspect of society.”

At the same time, the City of Cape Town says it has catered for the elderly if day zero comes.

At its 200 collection sites police, law enforcement, medical staff and volunteers will assist residents who won't be able to queue for water.

People will have to queue for 25 litres of water per person per day.

Mayco member JP Smith said: “Later this week we will be releasing the full list of pods. We will have the visuals ready for you, so every pod will have the layout diagram available, we will be able to give you distance between the locations of the pods.”

Commercial business, clinics and hospitals won’t be affected by phase two of the city's water disaster plan.

“Nobody will be turned away from a collection site, nobody will have to like produce any kind of proof of identification or anything. Some of the collection sites have up to 600 taps so they will move swiftly and they will move well. They will have extensive security; it will be the safest part of your community around those pods.”

Plans around schools in residential areas remain unclear.

The city is expected to meet with the Department of Education in the Western Cape to discuss the matter further.

The city says it will take five weeks to set up water collection sites.

Meanwhile, investment agency Wesgro says it has told international investors Cape Town remains open for business despite the water crises.

Many international media houses have reported extensively on how Cape Town will run out of water.

Wesgro's Tim Harris said: “So the message to the investors as Wesgro is that Cape Town remains open but alongside businesses that are already in the city, they need to understand that we have a special relationship with water in this place.”

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