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Water taps in Cape Town could be switched off on 16 April unless efforts to reduce usage are achieved. City officials have dubbed the date “Day Zero”, and warned that residents would be limited to a daily allowance of 25 litres, which they would have to collect from one of 200 collection points if the taps are switched off. To avoid it, residents have been told that they must limit their water usage to 50 litres a day in order to deal with a sustained water crisis.
The Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba, said that he believes the switch-off can be avoided. And he is urging residents to sustain their reduced usage going forward. “I have so much hope, he told a Water (In)Justice conference on Saturday, the Weekend Argus reports.
“Let’s look at what we have in terms of desalination and that there is reduced usage from the agriculture sector. This helps us to change our thinking and save more when we see Day Zero coming.
“We need to sustain this reduction and encourage people that if Day Zero does not come we should not be cynical and we shouldn’t say it was all a lie or electioneering but rather respect that we have avoided it and maintain our water usage,” he said.
Archbishop Makgoba urged people to “soak the crisis with prayer” and said that the country’s interfaith community could play a significant role in communicating ways to reduce water to the more than 80 per cent of the population that are religious. “There is a beautiful significance to this crisis happening over Lent because it gives us time to reflect on our water usage,” he said. “Cape Town is in a drought and that’s the desert, then Day Zero could be the crucifixion, and the resurrection follows the crucifixion, so this too shall pass, but it requires working together.”