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'CT residents overreacted to prospect of Day Zero'

Chairperson of Parliament’s Water and Sanitation Committee Lulu Johnson says many South African communities have for years lived with the prospect of Day Zero.

FILE: Cape Town residents fill up their containers with water as they scramble to stock up before Day Zero. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The chairperson of Parliament’s Water and Sanitation Committee has suggested that Cape Town residents overreacted to the prospect of the City running out of the water.

Lulu Johnson says many South African communities have for years lived with facing Day Zero.

The City of Cape Town narrowly avoided running out of the water after the summer months when dams supplying the city dropped below 20% before winter rains averted a crisis.

On Thursday, a water economist told Members of Parliament (MPs) the Water and Sanitation Department should reduce their reliance on dams and piped water.

“Cape Town became more of a crybaby. Maybe they are spoilt.”

Johnson says the Water and Sanitation Department should have taken the lead in adapting to climate change years ago.

“Day Zero has existed for donkey years, especially in the rural areas. We would have been, as a country, in the forefront.”

But Democratic Alliance MP Leon Basson says the City of Cape Town, which is now facing a revenue shortfall since reducing its water consumption by half, should rather be lauded.

“I would rather be a crybaby and preserve the water for generations to come than let your children say you were selfish and didn’t use the water correctly.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)