Cape Town finally declared a national disaster after drought's severity is 'reassessed'

Cape Town finally declared a national disaster after drought's severity is 'reassessed'

National government has declared the drought affecting the southern and western areas of South Africa a national disaster.

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs said after re-evaluating the magnitude and severity of the drought that it had reclassified it as a "national disaster".

Cape Town is in the grip of a catastrophic three-year-long drought as sparse rains have failed to bring relief and dam levels have dropped dangerously low.

This means the national government will take over relief efforts.

A single toilet flush roughly uses nine litres of water.

It will probably arrive in May, a month or two before the onset of the winter rains.

At the start of February, the target for personal daily water usage was slashed from 87l to 50l.


In January, authorities had said taps were expected to run dry in April, after which residents will be forced to stand in queues for emergency rations.

The city announced on Tuesday water restrictions - which require each citizen to use less than 50 litres a day - had successfully pushed back "Day Zero" from May 11 to June 4.

The widespread drought has gripped swathes of the nation's south and west.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane praised Cape Town residents for significantly slashing their water consumption.

Spokesman Hossam Imam said the minister screened a video about the drought crisis in Cape Town to send a clear message to the whole world to work hard to avoid having such kind of crises in the future.

Over the past week, consumption has been lowered to 526 million litres a day.

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