Destinations

Cape Town braces for water crisis

Daisy Doctor

Reports are coming out of South Africa, and one of its capitals, Cape Town, as the country edges closer to ‘day zero’.

But what exactly is ‘day zero’?

According to the Financial Times, day zero is the day the taps run dry in the country.

Experts have predicted the day could come as early as March 18, and tourists visiting Cape Town have been instructed to have two-minute showers, seldom flush toilets and stay in accomodation with water-saving procedures in place.

Tourists have been told to: “Save like a local, and keep your usage to under 87 litres a day.”

“You can still have a fantastic holiday without wasting resources, and we ask that you take special care when you visit.”

“We love Cape Town, and we want it to remain a wonderful destination for future generations.”

“While we’re doing all we can to ensure Cape Town remains a world-class destination and your stay is comfortable, there are a few ways this might affect you as a visitor.

“Some accommodation establishments have closed their pools, saunas and steam rooms and removed bath plugs, to limit non-essential water use,” said the government guidance.

Others have estimated day zero will arrive around April 22.

The measures follow almost three years of water shortages, Cape Town’s rainfall dams are sitting at 27 per cent full.

In a statement on the situation, South African Tourism said: “South African Tourism would like to thank the many tourists and tourism businesses that have heeded the call to reduce their water usage over the festive season – while urging them to not lose steam.”

South African Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona added: “We are pleased that we have not received any reports of any tourism attractions and services interrupted by the water shortage and we appeal to tourists, and tourism businesses to continue being good responsible tourism citizens and continue being water-wise, even as the peak holiday season in South Africa winds down.”

“It is encouraging to see that projects to secure Cape Town’s water supply are making solid progress, for the sake of the city’s residents and tourists alike.

“However, this good news does not mean we can let our guard down.”

“The water crisis will be with us for a while, so it is imperative for our hospitality and leisure establishments, as well as local and international tourists to continue using water responsibly,” noted Ntshona.

On January 12, the Cape Town’s mayor Patricia de Lille urged the city’s citizens to use water conservatively.

Cape Town is a favourite for tourists the world over, voted as the best city in the world to visit by the Telegraph UK for two years running.

According to Cape Town’s 2017 Tourism Report, the city’s tourism website chosen as one of Skift’s 25 top tourism board websites in the world list for 2017.

As well as this, Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel guide for 2017 lists Cape Town in the top 10 cities to visit in the world.

The city itself is thriving in tourism, and if you don’t believe us, check out these figures from the tourism report:

capetown

All the while, the city has said the current situation is now “a crisis and an emergency”.

 

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