File image: IOL.

CAPE TOWN - Cape Town’s supply dam, Theewaterskloof is seen at its devastating level of 16%.  

Cape Town has been undergoing extreme water level restrictions since 2015, in a bid to combat the onset of a drought. 

At the beginning of this month, the City of Cape Town has implemented Level 6 water restrictions. 

This level sanctions agricultural water usage to reduce by 60% in comparison to the pre-drought period, 2015. 

Chief executive, Ray de Vries of Atmospheric Water Generator company, Airwater SA, today visited Cape Town’s supply dam, Theewaterskloof outside of Cape Town which shows a desolate dam. 

“The dam is now at 16% and the last 10% unusable. We have less than 6% of usable water from Theewaterskloof”, says de Vries. 

Bearing in mind we lose 1.5% of dam level every week. By February 14, de Vries predicts that Cape Town will be completely out of water. 

De Vries says that this shocking crisis can however be combatted. 

His generator, the African Rainmaker, produces water from air. 

How it works is the air is drawn into the machine. Then, it is cooled down significantly to dew point. The vapour then forms into a liquid. The liquid is then dropped into an ultraviolet bin which takes care of any pathogens. Then, the vapour goes from a filtration system and is held in an ultraviolet environment. When the machine dispenses water, it goes through an ultraviolet environment again.  

“The safest water you can get, the lowest total dissolved solids (TDS) and alkaline which is a big plus”, says de Vries. 

“It is 100% safe because of the ultraviolet. It has been tested and is tested all the time”. 

To date, de Vries says he has sold over 1500 small machines. 

Airwater SA makes various size machines which caters for households, schools and even the office. 

They have a 32l unit which makes up to 32l of water per day. It is 112cm high, 40cm wide and sells for R19 050. 

Their 50l, makes up to 50l of water a day and is priced at R29 750. 

Their machines go up to a 25 000l which sells for R2.5 million. 

Acknowledging the price of the African Rainwater, de Vries says that he has challenged the entire water industry to join him to smashing  prices as low as they can. 

READ ALSO: Drought Tax cannot be justified - Cape Chamber

On his immediate plans, de Vries says that he plans to introduce a gym machine which would be the first in South Africa. The machine will make its own water, just like the African Rainmaker. 

Their bottling plant opened the first week December with the second one opening in Fish Hoek. The third, 4th and 5th is currently in negotiation, says de Vries. 

“We believe that by July this year, we could have 30 bottling plants dotted around South Africa”. 

Not to mention Mozambique, Namibia, and islands such as Mauritius and Seychelles who have been contacting them.  


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