Cape Town is brimful of tourists, South African holidaymakers, and squatters by the thousands yet is about to run out of water. Water for drinking, cooking, washing – all water.
At last - at last!- the local council has asked the government to declare the severe drought a national disaster.
|Dried up ... An Australian perspective of the very serious Cape drought.|
That ‘imminent crisis’ affects over three million residents and the great army of tourists, holidaymakers and squatters … and the dear lady has written to Zuma. As the expression goes, it could only happen in Africa.
That postal service
That’s what the report states. She has written. If the letter goes by South Africa’s postal service, the not-wildly-revered leader is unlikely to see it, not this side of Easter, anyway.
And the intended recipient is the very Mr Zuma who is present so often in the news, but not normally in the most flattering way.
I’ve just been visiting that beautiful city, and only on arrival discovered that I had chosen the scene of a pending disaster. It’s true that there are polite notices at the airport and in public places to remind visitors to go easy on the water.
However, the message for local ratepayers has been very much stronger, with steep fines ready for those who use too much.
Wikipedia says the drought began in 2015, but the council did little about supplying houses with water meters. The authorities therefore don’t have much idea about where the water is going, of who is using it carelessly, only that it is being used at a great rate.
Threat of fines
So in many ways, threatening to fine offending households has little meaning.
I came home last week and found how difficult it is to get out of the habit of being miserly with water. When I wash up after a meal, what joy now to rinse the plates and cutlery in fresh water. What pleasure to shower for more than a minute or two.
What joy to rinse the toothbrush in fresh water every time it’s used.
Yet how sad to think of those wonderful people in the Cape so really poorly looked governed. It’s often only after experiencing the most inefficient and worst of, er, democracy that one can appreciate our pretty efficient method of government, give or take, that is, of course.
Thanks very much for visiting the blogs for my adventure book, Sailing to Purgatory.