LAST week I returned from a conference by air from Johannesburg to Margate and the low level flight gave me the shock of all shocks.
The normally lush landscapes of the Midlands and down towards our coast are in many instances in dire straits. The thirsty sub-soils are peering through what should be a veneer of greened vegetation, dams are severely depleted of water and the normally healthy rivers and waterfalls are a mere trickle of their former selves. My observations were that is was more like the Karoo than the normally flourishing hydrology of our province.
The messages on this water crisis being sent out by our local authority and organs of state are not hollow methods used to cover up service delivery issues- this is a severe drought and the ramifications for our tourism are all too evident.
Our busiest season of the year is only a matter of weeks away and all we can do under the circumstances is to strongly advise that all water users become disciplined when it comes to consumption. The application of water- saving actions should also be conveyed to our guests without undue disruption to their stay.
This will have to be a team effort if our visitors are to return home after their holiday with a positive take on this destination. If our residents and businesses report leaking pipes, etc., to the Ugu District Municipality I am sure each rectification will add to the prospect of better supply during a peak use period.
Given that the economy is under stress and the water crisis exists, this could be a “perfect storm” in a challenging sense. My plea is therefore for everybody to be very conscious of water usage and make every effort to conserve this precious commodity - the success of our holiday season depends on this.
Our busiest season of the year is only a matter of weeks away and all we can do under the circumstances is to strongly advise that all water users become disciplined when it comes to consumption.