Cape Town - Artificial grass, water tanks and buying non-potable water for their swimming pools are just some of the ways residents in the more affluent parts of Cape Town are dealing with the water crisis.
The Camps Bay, Clifton Ratepayers Association’s Byron Herbert said people in the area were spending lots of money and going above and beyond to save water, and anyone who thought otherwise was “ignorant and buying into the city’s propaganda”.
“Sure, there will be people that are blasé about it but I doubt that residents of Camps Bay and Clifton consider it as business as usual. This is water so no matter how much money you have, if taps run dry, they run dry.”
He said people were spending significant amounts of money to save and collect water. “If you drive around, you will see water tankers and people pumping water. Everyone is doing what they can and fortunately the wealthy can afford to do what they can, but for a short while.”
Herbert said he found it disturbing that in some parts, people were still using water as if it was “business as usual”.
“When we speak to our staff from poorer communities, they don’t appear to understand the urgency of saving water and that is where one needs to speak to people in a narrative that they will understand - not a language they understand, but a narrative.”
PriceCheck, South Africa’s leading product discovery and comparison service, said people are scrambling to get their hands on bottled water and JoJo Tanks.
Despite the severity of the crisis, it seems that people are still desperate to have their gardens maintained. PriceCheck data shows that artificial grass is among the five most searched for products on the site.
PriceCheck CEO Kevin Tucker says there hasn’t been any abnormal movement in suppliers pushing up prices of artificial grass. “Prices of specialised water-saving products and devices are on the rise. Too many Capetonians have made the change to water-conscious living too late. Make the move to higher grey water consumption and the tools needed to do this earlier.”
The Hout Bay Neighbourhood Watch (HBNW) said they would be working with disaster teams ahead of Day Zero. “As part of CoCT’s Day Zero disaster management planning SAPS in conjunction with HBNW has been tasked to identify existing natural water collection points in and around Hout Bay, so that they can prepare management plans for such points.
“We are already aware of some natural springs and river access points.”
While there have been contingency plans put in place, the HBNW said it was important not to get into total panic “and start thinking that society will collapse like some American Prepper horror movie”.