Cape Town’s water crisis: driven by politics more than drought


DEAR CAPE TOWN – Cape Town is hurtling towards “Day Zero”: the day taps run dry. This is expected in mid-May, just weeks after the city’s new water supplies are due.

Cape Town is quite used to surviving dry years. Water restrictions get it through and then dams refill, thanks to the wet years that usually follow.

But this time it’s different. Never in recorded history has Cape Town encountered a drought of such severity for three consecutive years.

One of the biggest debates is whether local government is handling the crisis effectively. Investigating this question exposes politics, not rainfall, at the heart of the problem.

The Western Cape is the only province in the country run by the Democratic Alliance, while the African National Congress runs the rest. This means that the relationship between national government and the Western Cape is complicated, as the water crisis shows.

Cape Town’s water crisis: driven by politics more than drought ajax loader

Cape Town’s water crisis: driven by politics more than drought

Cape Town is hurtling towards “Day Zero”: the day taps run dry. This is expected in mid-May, just weeks after the city’s new water supplies are due.


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