Greenpeace, Zille ask Zuma to declare national disaster in Western Cape and Eastern Cape

People queue to collect water from a natural spring outlet at South African Breweries. (AP)
People queue to collect water from a natural spring outlet at South African Breweries. (AP)

Cape Town - Greenpeace Africa has joined Western Cape Premier Helen Zille in her call to President Jacob Zuma to have the Western Cape declared a disaster area.

However, the organisation is also pleading for assistance in the drought-stricken Eastern Cape.

Harsh water restrictions imposed on residents living in the two provinces have led Greenpeace Africa to send a petition, signed by 2 769 people, directly to the Presidency.

"Declaring the Eastern and Western Cape provinces national disaster areas is the only way to ensure that every government structure can mobilise the necessary resources to respond effectively," said Melita Steele, senior climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace Africa.

Imminent threat of Day Zero

With the imminent threat of Day Zero in Cape Town, Greenpeace Africa believes that there has been a "failure in leadership at a time when South Africans need it most".

Zille announced that she made a similar request for the Western Cape to the Presidency on January 22, 2018.

"The reason that I think it would be useful to declare a national state of disaster is because then everything is in place for anything that we need to do that may require us to shortcut certain systems," Zille said.

"We don't want to, at the moment that we need to do those things, urgently to have to then start declaring disasters and going through processes.

WATCH: Farmers donate millions of litres of water to Cape Town

"Let's rather get that all organised now, so that [national and provincial disaster management departments] can be working together like [they are]. The minute something has to be done, we can just get on and agree and do it."

Greenpeace Africa also pointed out that the water crisis in Cape Town and the Eastern Cape were not isolated.

"The Gauteng province is currently implementing Level 1 water restrictions as the Katse and Mohale dams located in Lesotho, which supply the majority of water to Johannesburg and Pretoria, dip to 32%. This is a sure sign of the 'new normal' that faces South Africa and many other countries around the world," the organisation said in a statement.

Spokesperson for the Presidency Dr Bongani Ngqulunga could not be reached for comment.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Who do you think is going to win the 2020 US election?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Biden is going to take it
47% - 7872 votes
It's four more years for Trump
53% - 9036 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
16.28
(-0.41)
ZAR/GBP
21.20
(-0.19)
ZAR/EUR
19.27
(-0.28)
ZAR/AUD
11.58
(-0.13)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(-0.23)
Gold
1898.35
(+0.01)
Silver
24.20
(-0.92)
Platinum
885.00
(-1.17)
Brent Crude
41.25
(0.00)
Palladium
2356.22
(-0.46)
All Share
55339.58
(+0.99)
Top 40
50692.28
(+0.83)
Financial 15
10790.70
(+3.99)
Industrial 25
74905.70
(+1.05)
Resource 10
52561.57
(-0.49)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo