Let’s mobilize, forget the politics and save more water now

Let’s mobilize, forget the politics and save more water now, writes Yusuf Abramjee

Over 120 #SaveWater Ambassadors have pledged to do their bit and create awareness in an attempt to avoid “Day Zero”.

The initiative was launched in Cape Town recently – a partnership between the Department of Water and Sanitation, Operation SA and Miss Earth South Africa.

Over the coming weeks, more Ambassadors will join-in because we need to intensify the #SaveWater drive.

The Cape Argus needs to be saluted for driving education and awareness with its #EveryDropCount campaign.

Great also to see other media houses creating awareness. Heart FM morning anchor, Aden Thomas, who is also an Ambassador, is playing his part as well.

We now need to see all citizens and the various sectors of society holding hands and making a difference.

Water is life. Water is precious. We must do whatever it takes to save this resource and it’s good to see households, business, government, the agriculture sector, civil society and media all working together.

We appointed television and radio personalities, musicians, community leaders and activists to drive the #SaveWater Ambassador programme because of their influence. We need to see mobilization on a mass scale.

Last week, a schools roadshow was launched at Hazeldene Primary in Mitchells Plain. Teams are visiting 100 schools in and around Cape Town and we already have thousands of young #WaterHeroes

The Department of Basic Education and Western Cape Education Department is supporting the roadshow.

International climate activist, Catherine Constantinides, and her Miss Earth SA team are leading the school roadshow programme.

We are seeing excellent results and our young people are certainly starting to spread the #SaveWater message.

We will continue to engage communities. #SaveWater Ambassadors will also make themselves available for public engagements.

Saving water should be the responsibility of each and every one of us and not only Capetonians.

While Cape Town has a crisis, we need to ensure that every municipality across our country do their bit to #SaveWater.

Some other provinces are starting to feel the effects of the drought.

It’s good to see the City of Johannesburg already starting to spread the #SaveWater message.

There is no need to panic. There is no need to stockpile water. All we have to do is to start ensuring that we #SaveWater and reduce usage at all levels.

Let’s forget the politics and focus on saving more water.

The “Day Zero” scare may result in some tourists, local and foreign, cancelling their visits to the Mother City. There is no need for that. Cape Town is open for business and we must promote tourism. Staying away from the city will cause much harm.

During a crisis, some try to make a quick buck. We are seeing the prices of bottled water increasing. A five liter bottle at some stores sells up to R20. This is day light robbery. We need to keep a close eye on pricing and ensure that the Competitions Competition act if we suspect any collusion.

World Water Day, on 22 March every year, is about focusing attention on the importance of water.

The theme for World Water Day 2018 is “Nature for Water” – exploring nature-based solutions to the water challenges we face in the 21st century.

“Damaged ecosystems affect the quantity and quality of water available for human consumption. Today, 2.1 billion people live without safe drinking water at home; affecting their health, education and livelihoods.

“Sustainable Development Goal 6 commits the world to ensuring that everyone has access to safe water by 2030, and includes targets on protecting the natural environment and reducing pollution,” experts say.

Let’s act and act now before it’s too late. Let’s promote active citizenry.

It’s great to see the likes of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC), big business, NGO’s, various sporting codes including the Springboks and Proteas and even the Soweto Gospel Choir pledging to support the #SaveWater drive.

Let’s also find ways to provide water to those in need. Boreholes are a good option and NGO’s are already investing tens of thousands of rands to drill.

#EveryDropCounts and saving water must become a way of life.

We are getting dozens of requests to visit more schools in the Western Cape and other parts of the country.

With our partners, the Department of Water and Sanitation, we will consider expanding the education drive over coming weeks.

*Yusuf Abramjee is the Chief Ambassador for #SaveWater and a Social Activist.
Twitter: @abramjee

#SaveWater Ambassadors visited the TheeWaterskloof Dam outside Franschhoek today to see the extent of the drought for themselves. 

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.

Thursday 22 February 2018 
#SaveWater Ambassadors visited the TheeWaterskloof Dam outside Franschhoek today to see the extent of the drought for themselves. 
The Department of Water and Sanitation showed the activists the various interventions which are being undertaken.
Theewaterkloof Dam is one of six dams that supply water to the Cape Town area. The dam level is under 11%.
“What we have seen today was devastating. It brought home the severity of the drought. Now, more than ever before, we have to escalate our #SaveWater #EveryDropCounts initiatives.”
“We compliment the Department of Water and Sanitation for taking urgent measures in an attempt to provide underground water and through the construction of a ‘coffer dam’,” said Chief #SaveWater Ambassador, Yusuf Abramjee.

International Climate Activist and Co-Chief #SaveWater Ambassador Catherine Constantinides: “It was a truly painful experience to see the raw earth where once a thriving body of water lay. We hope through the interventions we will see some positive results.”

“The last week spent in schools in Cape Town is an inspiring reminder that we must continue to drive behavior change and awareness as well as a shift in mindset with our relationship with water.”
Constantinides said: “The Miss Earth South Africa Ambassadors
 have engaged in classroom activities addressing scholars and communities. The robust interaction has truly been important and ambassadors will continue to roll out across the country.”
Irini Moutzouris, Miss Earth South Africa  said: “It was saddening to see the state of the TheeWaterskloof Dam and the impact that the drought is having on the Mother City.
“As Miss Earth South Africa, I am proud to be part of the #SaveWater drive with the Department of Water and Sanitation and Operation SA, visiting schools to remind children how important it is to Save Water.”
#SaveWater Ambassador, Hanief Loonat, who also visited the Dam said he was “shocked” to see how dry it was.
“We have to all drive the #SaveWater message,” he said.
There are over 100 activists, community leaders, Radio, TV and Sport personalities who are Ambassadors.
End

Enquiries:
*Yusuf Abramjee cell 082 4414 203
*Catherine Constantindes 083 747 7677

#WaterHeroes #SaveWater LAUNCHES SCHOOL ROADSHOW IN CAPE TOWN

Monday 19 February 2018

#WaterHeroes #SaveWater LAUNCHES SCHOOL ROADSHOW IN CAPE TOWN

The Department of Water and Sanitation, Operation SA and Miss Earth SA have launched a School Roadshow to promote the saving of water.

100 schools are to be visited over the next 10 days.

Children are being given educational worksheets.

Miss Earth Ambassadors are engaging in in-class room activities inspiring #WaterHeroes

Leaners are also being encouraged to come up with innovate ideas.

Department of Water and Sanitation spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau, said: “It is encouraging to see the kind of reception to the partnership on water awareness amongst our children and educators.”

“We believe that through this interaction the message of water conservation will reach our communities,” said Ratau.

Catherine Constantinides, International Climate Activist, said “we are inspired by the enthusiasm and engagement of leaners from the youngest to the oldest.

“These children are not only learning to #SaveWater now. They are learning about a new way of life where we are water conscious,” she added.

Chief #SaveWater Ambassador, Yusuf Abramjee, said it was important for the #SaveWater #EveryDropCount message to reach every corner of the country.

“We are starting to see some water savings and that is encouraging. If we save more water now, we can avoid ‘Day Zero.’”

Abramjee said they were being inundated with requests to visit more schools
and it will be considered as part of phase two.

The school roadshow launched at Hazeldene Primary in Mitchells Plain where senior officials of the Western Cape Education Department also attended.

The local Community Police Forum, Mitchells Plain Station Commander, Brig Goolam and community activists also pledged their support.

Other schools to be visited this week include Gugulethu, Langa, Athole, Phillipi, Constantia and Melkbos.


Enquiries:

Yusuf Abramjee
Cell 082 4414 203

Sputnik Ratau
‭Cell 082 874 2942‬

Catherine Constantinides
Cell ‭083 747 7677

#SaveWater ANNOUNCES MASSIVE NATIONAL DRIVE

Thursday 15 February 2018

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

#SaveWater ANNOUNCES MASSIVE NATIONAL DRIVE

A massive initiative to #SaveWater has been launch in Cape Town.

The Department of Water and Sanitation, Operation SA and Miss Earth South Africa announced the partnership at the launch of the #SaveWater Ambassador programme and a city-wide school road show.

With 109 days to go to “Day Zero” the initiative will mobilise civil society, business, government and the agricultural sectors.

The Springboks, Proteas and AJAX Cape Town FC are some of the sporting codes that have thrown their wait behind #SaveWater

The Springboks said: “As a sports federation in the country, SA Rugby wants to applaud the great efforts such as the #SaveWater Ambassadors campaign, to help raise public awareness of the drought crisis facing us in many parts of South Africa.

“We are delighted to show our support, and are indeed proud of all the various citizen initiatives, to help save this precious and scarce resource.”

Eben Etzebeth, Captain of the Springboks, pledged his support.

#SaveWater ambassadors include high profile TV and Radio personalities, musicians, community, business and religious leaders and activists.

The Soweto Gospel Choir, Shout South Africa, Cape Town / South Africa Water Crisis, Community Police Forums, #MakeSASafe, Wesgro, The Cape Argus and corporates and Tsogo Sun are some of the organisations and companies that have pledged their support.

Speaking at the launch, #SaveWater Ambassadors promised to drive the #EveryDropCounts message.

#SaveWater Ambassador and international climate activist Catherine Constantinides said: “It is critical that South Africans stood united to address the water crisis.

“As we move closer towards solutions, we must not forget that it is daily behaviour and a change in mind set that will also make a difference. This needs to become the norm.

“We are proud to be driving an extensive educational campaign launching next week in Mitchells Plain. Our mission is an initial 100 schools in 10 days with a vision of inspiring #Water Heroes.

On Monday at 8am, the programme will kick-off at the Hazeldene Primary School.

#SaveWater, Chief Ambassador said the drive required the support of all citizens.

“We have over 110 ambassadors so far and more are joining in. We appeal to South Africans to join us and support the movement because water is life.

“Let’s forget the politics and do our bit. We can avoid #DayZero if we save right now. There is no need to stockpile or panic,” Abramjee said.

He added that some were cashing in on water selling 5 liters for R20.

“The Competitions Commission must keep a close eye,” he added.

Operation SA’s Yaseen Theba announced that in partnership with AWQAF SA, “we are in the final stages of planning to drill 30 boreholes. We are looking at schools, clinics, hospitals and community centres.”

The #SaveWater initiative will not be only constrained to the City of Cape Town, but will make its presence felt throughout the country.

#SaveWater Ambassadors said that it was about time that citizens found ways to address the #WaterCrisis.

John Van Rooyen, Western Cape Operations Manager for the Tsogo Sun Group said “we are proud to be associated with #SaveWater. It talks to our business objective and long term view to reduce water consumption.”

He said Cape Town was open for business and appealed to tourists to continue visiting the Mother City.


Enquiries:

Yusuf Abramjee – 0824414203
Yaseen Theba – 0644000000
Catherine Constantinides – 0837477677

TIME TO #SaveWater now more then ever before, activists urge.

Tuesday 13 February 2018

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TIME TO #SaveWater now more then ever before, activists urge.

Operation SA, Miss Earth South Africa and partners have called on South Africans “to #SaveWater now more than ever before.”

“ ‘Day Zero’ “ has been pushed back to June 4.

“We welcome the new date and we need to save more water now. We can avoid ‘Day Zero’ if we all unite and do our bit,” said #SaveWater Chief Ambassador, Yusuf Abramjee.

“We salute those who are saving water. Remember #EveryDropCounts and every bit of saving helps,” said Abramjee.

“We thank the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) for leading the #SaveWater drive together with the various stakeholders. Let’s now all escalate our efforts,” Abramjee added.

A #SaveWater campaign is to be launched in Cape Town on Thursday morning.

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), Operation SA and Miss Earth SA will introduce the various Ambassadors and also announce plans for a school roadshow and other interventions.

Operation SA’s Yaseen Theba said details of drilling boreholes in partnership with Awqaf SA will be released soon.

“We will do what it takes to assist,” he said.

Catherine Constantinides from Miss Earth SA said: “We will take the #SaveWater message across Cape Town as part of a first phase of education and awareness. We need to drive this educational campaign nationally. We cannot forget that water is a precious resource and we need to change behaviour.”

Constantinides said “let’s all join hands and #SaveWater.”

Meanwhile, Operation SA and Miss Earth South Africa have welcomed the annoucement that Government has declared the drought a national disaster.

“We need interventions and this move will assist.”

They said the #EveryDropCount campaign by The Cape Argus and other initiatives need to be supported.

“Government, households, civil society, business, agriculture and the media need to all hold hands…”

“We are all in this together and Team SA must pledge to #SaveWater,” added Abramjee.

Enquiries:

Yusuf Abramjee – 0824414203
Yaseen Theba – 0644000000
Catherine Constantinides – ‭0837477677

The outcomes of the Inter-Ministerial Task Team meeting on Drought and Water Scarcity held on 30 January 2018

MEDIA BRIEFING STATEMENT

09 FEBRUARY 2018

The outcomes of the Inter-Ministerial Task Team meeting on Drought and Water Scarcity held on 30 January 2018

Ministers
Deputy Minister
Directors General
Government officials
Members of the media
Ladies and Gentleman

Good Morning

Our country still remains gripped by the drought situation with all the Cape Provinces (Western Cape, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape) currently declared disaster areas and some parts of the KwaZulu Natal and Free State. These drought conditions are evidently having profound negative implications on the economies of the affected provinces.

Recent reports indicate that the tourism sector in these areas is feeling the shock particularly in the Western Cape. These points to the multi-dimensional negative impacts of the prevailing drought and the negative effects it has on our developmental aspirations. Government can therefore not sit idle while the situation deteriorates.

To this effect, the Inter Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) on drought and water scarcity (as established in 2015) has been actively championing integrated efforts to ensure that the country responds effectively to the drought situation. This IMTT reports and provides updates to the relevant Portfolio Committees regularly.

The IMTT has been seized with the task of engaging various stakeholders on issues of drought. Our meeting of the 30th January 2018 followed a number of such meetings and consultations. These meetings are primarily geared to devise measures that can ensure heightened national coordination in response to the drought across the country, with special emphasis on the City of Cape Town.

Since January 2018, the IMTT has already met twice on 30 January and 06 February 2018 to receive reports on the status of the drought situation, consider integrated measures being put in place to mitigate the situation and provide political leadership on heightened measures necessary to arrest the situation.

In both meetings, we were joined by some of the MECs of CoGTA from the Provinces who shed light about the situation in their respective provinces and the work each one is doing to mitigate the impact of drought on communities and farmers.

These measures are a testimony that government values human lives and places the interests and welfare of the people above all else. As we know, water is a constitutional right of all South Africans and thus these challenges of drought are threatening to make it difficult for government to realise this important provision in our Constitution.

Even as we are seized with the challenges of drought, it is important to note that there are three categories of our people that must be served equitably as part of the transformation agenda, notably:

a) Those that are yet to receive water
b) Those that have just received water – albeit minimal
c) Those that have access to water

Above all that has been said, the drought situation cannot be examined in isolation from the primary development challenges facing the country. In particular, it is critical to analyze the daily development challenges which either increase vulnerability to drought or increase its severity and which are the factors we as the collective leadership must work tirelessly in a concerted manner to address. These factors border on institutional and resource conditions of our municipalities as well as the challenges around inter-governmental relations in the context of planning and delivery of services.

The cases of all the affected areas are clearly an indication of the need for a national coordinated approach and response to this unfolding challenge. This will have to take into account the national drought forecast and indicators which point to the fact that summer rainfall areas have also not sufficiently recovered from the drought situation which started in 2014.

Additionally, the forecasting systems indicate that the affected Provinces may still experience drier than normal conditions. The Standard Precipitation Index (SPI) for the 24 month period indicates areas of mild to extreme drought categories across SA as a result of 4 consecutive seasons of low rainfall. SAWS indicate that 2017 was the worst year in terms of rainfall as almost the whole country has received below normal rainfall. This denotes that the country as a whole has not recovered from the 2014 drought, with the Western Cape Province experiencing the worst drought in years.

This challenge of drought shows a decline in various human activities such as farming, irrigation or domestic uses of water are affected and this might have a negative impact and exacerbate:

a) Poverty
b) Inequality
c) Unemployment

Notable also is that even though the month of January 2018 received reasonable amounts of rains, this did not cover the whole country as it was limited to the central and eastern parts.

The reports that the IMTT has received thus far pointed indicate that the situation is deteriorating with dam levels falling week on week and the current national dam levels depict the following picture as on 07 February 2018:

Province Dam Levels as at 07th Dam Levels last week
Eastern Cape 60,7% 59,9%
Gauteng 94,6% 95,0%
Free State 64,9% 64,4%
Mpumalanga 76,9% 76,8%
KwaZulu-Natal 52,6% 50,8%
North West 67,4% 66,6%
Northern Cape 76,2% 80,5%
Limpopo 65,3% 64,4%
Western Cape 23,7% 24,5%
National 59,6% 58,8%

Fellow South Africans, while we acknowledge that the drought has become a huge challenge, a number of measures have been implemented nationally and are bearing fruits.

Those measures include:

a) Issuing of early warning messages on a regular basis;
b) Drilling and equipping of boreholes across all provinces;
c) The application of water restrictions to regulate use of water;
d) The provision of animal feed and fodder;
e) Water tankering in areas of severe need;
f) The promotion of the use of drought resistant cultivars;
g) Reduction of water usage by industries and other users such as crop farmers;
h) Change of timing of cultivation and irrigation, etc.
i) Desalination
j) Water conservation and demand management
k) Re-use optimisation

In addition, an amount of R74.8 million was given to the Western Cape Province in August 2017 to deal with the situation. The only challenge is the slow pace of using the allocated funding that are geared to alleviate the impact of drought on particular sectors.
At this stage, CoGTA through the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) is currently in the process of considering requests from the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape provinces for funding of response and recovery measures.

Currently, efforts are underway to classify the drought as a national disaster. This process will be finalized on or before 14 February 2018. This will legally assign the responsibility to the national executive to coordinate the disaster, while a declaration is being considered to be finalized within a period of a month. The declaration will empower the Minister or his Delegate to issue Regulations and / or Directives in dealing with the drought disaster. We are convinced that this will enhance current measures to deal with the disaster. It will also ensure that provinces, which are not currently declared, can be covered through measures to prevent and mitigate against the drought situation.

In 2015, the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA) entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the National Treasury’s Office of the Chief Procurement Officer on Framework Contract. The objective of the MOA is for MISA to rollout of infrastructure procurement and delivery standards and framework contracts for Infrastructure Goods and Services in Local Government. MISA has prioritised framework contracts for water infrastructure goods and services in the light of the current drought. This will contribute towards addressing challenges within the Supply Chain Management in municipalities, accelerate services delivery and alleviate disputes arising from tender processes derailing the acquisition of infrastructure assets critical for effective delivery of services. Municipalities will also save time by avoiding the restart of procurement process each time they need to purchase infrastructure goods and services.

Going forward, the IMTT will regularly consider reports received from the National Joint Disaster Coordination Committee on measures being put in place to improve coordination and deployment of resources for response and recovery from the drought disaster and regularly report to the Portfolio Committees as was the case yesterday, 07 February 2018.

The DWS will continue to monitor the levels of the 214 major dams, as this information is critical in understanding the situation around availability of water in the systems.

The IMTT will continue to communicate through various platforms and channels to inform communities about the effects of climate change, drought and provide water saving/conservation tips. These communication messages on drought are disseminated with the intention of educating and creating the necessary awareness amongst citizens. The role played by media in promoting our integrated public awareness, education and advocacy programmes is commendable and will definitely go a long way assisting to effect the necessary change.

In conclusion, it should be put on record that, since the outbreak of this drought, the leadership of the country, the broader citizenry and civil society formations have pulled together to save this important resource.

To this effect, we are making progress as water usage shows a marked reduction and this is definitely commendable and shows that if we work together, nothing is impossible.

In the same context, government appeals to all South Africans and our visitors to help in save water. We request all of us here today to also play our part to save water and also urge our constituencies and communities to do likewise.

As South Africans, we are stronger when we are tested and together we can prevail over this challenge.

Working together, we can save water.

I thank you.

Social activist & Operation SA’s, Yusuf Abramjee, chats to Aden Thomas about the #SaveWater Campaign

Operation SA and the Miss Earth organisation have welcomed news that “Day Zero” has been pushed back by a month to 11 May but they have cautioned: Don’t start celebrations just yet, we must continue to #SaveWater now more than ever before!

The two organizations said it was “critical” for Capetonians to #SaveWater now and reduce usage immediately.

Abramjee said various organizations were working in partnership with the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and plans are in place to mobilize the public to #SaveWater. They are also launching an Ambassadors programme soon in Cape Town. The organisation has committed to working closely with the Department of Water and Sanitation, alongside all critical stakeholders to manage an educational drive and schools programme across the Western Cape.

Operation SA is a nonprofit organization whose sole mission is to reduce human suffering. We respond to natural disasters, humanitarian emergencies and poverty. We are non-sectarian and non-political. Operation SA is on the ground with the people we serve. Our programs address four specific needs: Education, Health, Water (Sanitation and Hygiene), and Economic Opportunity. Operation SA’s four specific disciplines are well defined, but every situation is unique. That means one size does not fit all. We place a premium on learning, listening, being flexible and responsive. We take risks and learn from results. Our integrative approach means we’re able to roll out customized programs that address local priorities in the most effective, efficient way.

More on their website: operationsa.org/

Massive #SaveWater campaign in the Western Cape gaining momentum

Monday 5 February 2017

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

#SAVEWATER

Operation SA and the Miss Earth organisation have welcomed news that “Day Zero” has been pushed back by a month to 11 May but they have cautioned: Don’t start celebrations just yet, we must continue to #SaveWater now more than ever before!

The two organizations said it was “critical” for Capetonians to #SaveWater now and reduce usage immediately.

Operation SA’s Yusuf Abramjee said: “While we welcome the moving of the date or ‘Day Zero’, we still have lots to do. We need to mobilize the public to save water and we have to work on plans to ensure that the taps don’t run dry.”

Abramjee said various organizations were working in partnership with the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS).

“Various plans are in place to mobilize the public to #SaveWater. We are also launching an Ambassadors programme soon in Cape Town,” he added.

South African Climate and Environmental Activist, Catherine Constantinides has been an active voice across the nation in a call to drive engaged citizenship in addressing the crisis the nation faces. “Now more than ever we can and must continue to stand together, share ideas, educate our communities, be innovative and practical as we drive reducing our water consumption”, says Constantinides.

The Miss Earth South Africa organisation has been working in schools and communities over the past few years under the banner of #WasteStopsWithME. They have now called on citizens to take individual responsibility and accountability for the manner in which we live and use the natural resources around us, especially as a water scarce country.

The organisation has committed to working closely with the Department of Water and Sanitation, alongside all critical stakeholders to manage an educational drive and schools programme across the Western Cape, that brings together influencers and community leaders. Ambassadors and activists will work tirelessly over the coming months to reach learners, educators and communities as we move towards a future that ensures all South African’s #SaveWater as a way of life.

Team South Africa has been urged to pray for rain from 9 to 11 February. The DWS is leading the call supported by NGO’s.

Meanwhile, Yaseen Theba of Operation SA said discussions were underway with NGO’s and government departments to look at boreholes.

“We have some funding thanks to Awqaf SA and once we get the green light we can start the work. We will target schools and other public places,” Theba added.

Both organizations again appealed to the public not to collect and transport bottled water from Gauteng to Cape Town.

“It’s not viable. We also concerned that water is being filled into unsterile containers and this can result in contamination and it poses health risks.”

Water experts and the DWS have also called on the public not to collect and transport water.

“Let’s not cause panic. Let’s focus on saving water for now and if and when things change, we will mobilize the public. South Africans always show the spirit of Ubuntu,” added Abramjee.


Enquiries:

Yusuf Abramjee cell 082 4414 203

Yaseen Theba cell
064 000 000

Catherine Constantinides
‭083 747 7677

We reiterate that the option of transporting bottled water to Cape Town is not viable

#CapeSaveWater

PLEASE CIRCULATE

THURSDAY 1st February 2018

Members of Operation SA have been inundated with enquiries from NGO’s, schools, corporates and members of the public, requesting more information on the collection and distribution of bottled water.

“We reiterate that the option of transporting bottled water to Cape Town is not viable” said Operation SA’s Yusuf Abramjee.

At a meeting with the Department of Water & Sanitation (DWS) on Tuesday 30th January 2018 in Pretoria, officials urged volunteers not to encourage the collection and transportation of bottled water.

Abramjee said no fund raising initiatives will be undertaken for now. “If the situation changes, we will review and mobilize.”

Experts have also discouraged the collection and transportation of bottled water.

Yaseen Theba from Operation SA, said that during the 2014/2015 drought, bottled water was the only option because of the poor water infrastructure system. Seven  provinces were without water for weeks.

“At that stage we needed to get drinking water urgently to people that were literally dying of thirst, and bottled water was the fastest option.

“The current situation in Cape Town is different… We must use the time and the current water infrastructure to plan more sustainable drives to #SaveWater so that we can be hopeful that we never have to go back to distributing bottled water, unless absolutely necessary” added Theba.

Over the coming days Operation SA and its partners will embark on a number of water saving campaigns in the Western Cape.

“We are inspired by the concern from South Africans and their willingness to show their support that comes from their hearts. This is the true spirit of Ubuntu” said Catherine Constantinides, South African Climate Activist and Executive Director of Miss Earth South Africa. She further went on to say; “I urge citizens to urgently reduce water consumption as the only way to avoid the crisis and move beyond Day Zero. It is ouar individual responsibility and citizenship that will enable us to manage this precious resource so that there is enough, for all. We need to all become more conscious of how we use water in every aspect of our daily lives.”

The Miss Earth South Africa leadership programme has committed to working closely with the DWS, alongside all critical stakeholders to manage an educational drive and schools programme across the Western Cape, that brings together influencers and community leaders.

Ambassadors will work tirelessly over the coming months to reach learners, educators and communities as we move towards a future that ensures all South African’s #SaveWater as a way of life.


For more information contact:

Yusuf Abramjee for Operation SA on 082 441 4203