Today’s decision by Premier Helen Zille to officially declare the Western Cape a drought disaster area now enables the DA-led Western Cape government to further address and prioritise this water crisis. This is a game-changing decision in the midst of the intense drought gripping the province, the worst since 1904. Project ‘Avoiding Day Zero’ is a vital measure to not only protect water reserves in this particularly dire period, but also to protect jobs.
I am pleased that the Premier has made the decision to initiate this project as a means to protect and preserve the lifeblood of the province and its people, making sure not only that the Western Cape has sustainable sources of drinking water, but that emergency water management protects industry and jobs. The fate of the Western Cape economy hangs in the balance when water security is threatened, and the Premier’s decision is a proactive measure to protect the well-being of our people and the jobs upon which they so desperately depend. Just last week, economic experts projected a potential loss of some 200 000 jobs in the Western Cape alone by 2030 should the water crisis deepen.
In the face of the worst drought the Western Cape has seen in a century, it is only through sound and effective governance that our province can survive this disaster. The Premier’s decision to initiate project ‘Avoiding Day Zero’ is a clear indicator of the DA in the Western Cape’s commitment to safeguarding its people from the dire consequences of a disaster of this magnitude.
As the DA in the Western Cape, we will remain vigilant and proactive in the face of this provincial crisis as part of our mandate of effective and efficient service delivery for all.
Beverley Schäfer, MPP
DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Economic Opportunities, Tourism, and Agriculture