Maimane: #DayZero will not occur in 2018

“I want to say to the people here, you are all Day Zero heroes,” Mmusi Maimane said at press briefing on Wednesday (David Harrison/M&G)

“I want to say to the people here, you are all Day Zero heroes,” Mmusi Maimane said at press briefing on Wednesday (David Harrison/M&G)

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane has announced that Day Zero will not occur in 2018 if water conservation continues and there is regular rainfall in the coming months.


“I want to say to the people here, you are all Day Zero heroes,” Maimane said at press briefing on Wednesday.

“Cape Town and the Western Cape is open for business.”

The DA leader maintained that Capetonians must continue to use than 50 litres of water per day. The delay in Day Zero for 2018 is also dependent on rainfall in the June/July period.

Maimane said that a 60% reduction in consumption led the party to believe that Day Zero will not occur in 2018, if water conservation is maintained and there is rainfall. The party said that that dam levels “far more slowly” as a result of water saving by residents and businesses.

“Whilst we celebrate, this is not a time to become complacent,” he said.

Maimane thanked Western Cape premier Helen Zille, who was on the task team the party leadership assigned to deal with the crisis. He also thanked Capetonians for their efforts to reduce water consumption.

“Consumption now sits at between 510 and 520-million litres per day – down from almost 1.2-billion litres in February 2015,” he said.

But the party admitted that it has not yet informed the national water department about its new prediction that Day Zero will not occur in 2018.

“We have not engaged them [the national department],” said Cape Town deputy mayor Ian Neilson.

The national department has given a water allocation to the city as part of a yearly strategy. The allocation runs from November to November. Maimane said that the allocation for this year must be maintained if the water crisis is to continue to be avoided.

The city’s level 6B restrictions, which means that Capetonians are to use less than 50-litres per day, will continue to be in place. Water monitoring devices will also continue to be in use.

Construction is already underway on three desalination plants in Monwabisi, Strandfontein and the V&A Waterfront near the city centre. Neilson said that these plants will still be used and will be providing water in the next month.

The contracts for the three plants are for a two years. The equipment is currently owned by the contractors, but Neilson said that City hopes to soon begin building bigger plants. 

This story has been updated with additional information.
Ra'eesa Pather

Ra'eesa Pather

Ra’eesa Pather is a general news journalist with the Mail & Guardian’s online team. She cut her teeth at The Daily Vox in Cape Town before moving to Johannesburg and joining the M&G. She's written about memory, race and gender in columns and features, and has dabbled in photography. Read more from Ra'eesa Pather

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