This Friday, everybody heading to Cape Town International Airport is encouraged to replace 5kg of their baggage allowance for 5l of water.
The flight route between Johannesburg and Cape Town is one of the busiest in the world, with over 4.4 million passengers flying it every year. Many passengers don’t use their full baggage allowance (ranging from 23 to 32 kilograms, depending on the airline).
Business travellers often only take carry-on luggage, and even some holidaymakers pack light in order to do shopping down in the Cape.
When arriving in Cape Town, passengers can either collect their guilt-free water from home to use during their stay, or they can opt to leave it at the collection point at Cape Town International Airport. The social experiment is inspired by the current drought heavily affecting Cape Town – one of South Africa’s major tourist destinations.
Keshin Govender, Head of Communications for Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa, says the severity of the crisis inspired them to do something. “Every year, Gautengers go to Cape Town for their holidays. If you consider that the daily per person water allocation is 87 litres, this places tremendous additional strain on the city.”
During the one-day activation at OR Tambo and Cape Town International airports, travellers can participate by having their luggage weighed at the Siemens AirDrop stand, located in the check-in hall opposite the self-service check-in counters (directly next to ACSA Info Desk at OR Tambo). Any travellers whose luggage is five (or more) kilos under the weight limit will be able to ‘exchange’ their unused kilograms for litres of water that will be delivered to Cape Town on their behalf.
“By simply exchanging unused luggage kilos for water, we hope to ‘airlift’ around 5 000 litres of drinking water to the city in a matter of hours. It is this kind of ingenuity that has made us a global leader in intelligent water management,” says Govender.
The AirDrop collection stand on the Cape Town side will be in the arrivals area, opposite Woolworths. Uncollected water will be donated to Gift of the Givers.