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28 February 2018

Release: Immediate

Today, the South African Police Service (SAPS) briefed the Western Cape Provincial Parliament Standing Committee on Community Safety on contingency plans to ensure safety across the province in the event of Day Zero.

The SAPS assured that contingency planning to secure 189 Water distribution points is in place and that planning is co-ordinated across government spheres and Departments. A further 53 Water Distribution Points have been identified within the Metropole but still needs to be categorised. We were assured that in addition to the contingency plans, normal policing functions will continue.

SAPS Provincial Management said that SAPS is ready to deal with any threat and that policing will be proactive from the get-go. The planned deployment to points of distribution includes SAPS officers, traffic officials and Municipal Law enforcement along with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).

We will continue to monitor in coming months to ensure that sufficient personnel is available and that planning has been concretised.With unprecedented drought in the Western Cape and the lowest rainfall ever recorded, our province is undoubtedly facing a crisis. Day-Zero will take effect as soon as dam levels reach 13.5%. The current Dam-levels are currently at  21.3% as of 26 Februarys.

But, when confronted with great challenge we can survive and we can overcome.  Part of that resilience lies in forward planning by government departments, and that was the purpose of calling the meeting today.

While the likelihood of reaching the day when the taps are turned off is becoming less likely, we still need to plan for every eventuality – in the best interests of the people of the Western Cape. And this is not only for the possibility of Day Zero, it is also about making policing, which is an essential service, resilient into the future and able to buffer the shocks and stresses that are placed on our systems by climate change.

The DA in the Western Cape would like to thank and urge all residents to remain committed to using 50L per person per day as to ensure that we do not reach ‘Day-Zero’.

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