Will it bring out the best or worst in us?

2018-01-28 18:16
Capetonians from up-market Kalk Bay to working class Steenberg line up to collect mountain water piped to a historic watering trough on Main Road, St James. The daily queue has lengthened as Day Zero draws closer, from an average of about two or three people in November to about 20 at any given time. Picture: Steve Kretzmann / WCN

Capetonians from up-market Kalk Bay to working class Steenberg line up to collect mountain water piped to a historic watering trough on Main Road, St James. The daily queue has lengthened as Day Zero draws closer, from an average of about two or three people in November to about 20 at any given time. Picture: Steve Kretzmann / WCN

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Residents of suburban Cape Town are anxious about the looming Day Zero and appear divided about the effects it will have on society.

A consultant in up-market Constantia believed Day Zero would bring out the best in people.

He had a borehole and would share his water with neighbours, he said.

A resident of middle class Plumstead disagreed: “The worst will come out of everyone. The s**t is gonna hit the fan. How are 200 water points going to water the entire Cape Town?”

He said he had invested a lot of money over a decade ago to install water tanks, with a capacity totalling thousands of litres of rainwater, around his house.

He said he did not feel he should have to share any with neighbours who hadn’t made any investment.

He laughed at the possibility of suburbanites driving to townships to fill up at standpipes the city said would not be cut off, and the possibility that doing so would help foster social cohesion.

The consultant said that while he would have water, many members of his Rotary Club were “really stressed” about what would happen when the city ran dry. Other than having to queue every day, there was the question of general unrest and businesses having to close.

He said he shared their concerns, but couldn’t understand why the city had not invested in recycling water. As an environmentalist, he disagreed with building more dams.

And desalination was bad for the environment too because plumes of salt-saturated water were discharged back into the ocean.

A resident in an apartment block in Kenilworth said the body corporate had done nothing to plan for Day Zero and was only now looking at ordering water tanks.

He said these would have to be kept under lock and key and the water rationed equally among residents.

He said many people seemed to have ignored the possibility of Day Zero, but now it was becoming a real possibility and people were “kakking themselves”.

Read more on:    day zero  |  water crisis

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