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Olive festival cancelled due to Western Cape drought

This is bad news for the local economy as the town boasts a relatively small community largely dependent on tourism.

Picture: Facebook.com.

CAPE TOWN - The annual Riebeek Valley Olive Festival has been cancelled this year, due to the ongoing drought gripping parts of the Western Cape.

This is bad news for the local economy as the town boasts a relatively small community largely dependent on tourism.

The festival, currently in its 18th year, attracts more than 12,000 people to the Riebeek Valley over the course of the two-day event.

Organisers believe the water footprint of the anticipated number of visitors for a single weekend event cannot reasonably be justified.

Chairperson of the Riebeek Valley Tourism Association Klaus Piprek says cancelling the event was not an easy decision.

“The reason for the cancellation is we couldn’t find a reason to justify the influx of visitors to our valley during such a festival, considering the current water crisis. It’s not a decision we’ve taken lightly but in the end, it turned out to be quite unanimous.”

CAPE TOWN’S WATER WOES

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Tyrone Seale says Cape Town’s water woes will likely make it onto Cabinet's agenda.

Ramaphosa last week told CNN he intends helping to deal with the crisis.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille is also on a drive to assure Capetonians that a potential disaster can be averted.

On Wednesday, she will meet with managers of health facilities and schools to fill them in on the provincial government's day zero plans.

WATCH: Capetonians scramble to stock up as Day Zero draws closer

Additional reporting by Kevin Brandt.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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