South Africa declares drought a national disaster

South Africa declares drought a national disaster
Dried-out branches are seen amongst caked mud at Theewaterskloof dam near Cape Town
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa has declared a national disaster over the drought afflicting southern and western regions including Cape Town, though the city pushed back its "Day Zero", the day the city's taps will run dry.

The flow of running water in the port city of 4 million has been affected by a wider pattern of climate change seen around the country including the Western Cape, where Cape Town is located, the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape provinces.

Supplies have yet to recover from an El Nino-triggered drought two years ago, heralding a potential shortage that could hit industrial and agricultural output.

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs said after re-evaluating the magnitude and severity of the drought that it had reclassified it as a "national disaster". The department had said last week it was close to making such a declaration.

Cape Town, whose oceanfront location is a major tourist draw, has pushed back its designated "Day Zero", when residents will have to start queuing for water, to June 4 from May 11, with officials citing a decline in water usage by residents.

Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson said that over the past week, water consumption in Cape Town had declined to 526 million litres per day. This was the first time the daily average has been kept under 550 million litres, he said, citing city efforts to regulate the flow of water and residents' cooperation with official appeals to curb their consumption.

Cape Town hotels have asked guests not to use baths and to limit showers to two minutes or less, while some restaurants are switching to disposable cups and ditching table linen.

(Reporting by James Macharia; editing by Mark Heinrich)

2018-02-14 10:43:11

© 2018 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Reuters content is the intellectual property of Thomson Reuters or its third party content providers. Any copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. "Reuters" and the Reuters Logo are trademarks of Thomson Reuters and its affiliated companies.
Most read today
Most read yesterday
Send e-mail to for any enquiries or see Contact Details for phone numbers
Home   •   Terms & conditions   •   PAIA   •   Privacy Policy   •   Security Notice   •   Contact Details
Market Statistics are calculated by Sharenet and are therefore not the official JSE Market Statistics. The calculation/derivation may include underlying JSE data.
© 2018 SHARENET (PTY) Ltd, Cape Town, South Africa