A visit to an almost empty dam

Helena de Villiers, 86, and Violet Davids, 75, both Eastridge, stand at the bank of Theewaterskloof dam, in Villiersdorp.

Mitchell’s Plain seniors and ward committee members visited Theewaterskloof Dam, in Villiersdorp, on Thursday March 1.

They accompanied Social Development MEC, Albert Fritz, who wanted to raise awareness about the seriousness and extent of the ongoing drought.

Helena de Villiers, 86, from Eastridge, said she had come to see whether there really was no water.

Mr Fritz said everyone needed to continue saving water by using less than 50 litres a person a day, so as to keep pushing back Day Zero, when the municipal supply of water to taps in most parts of the city, will be turned off.

“We must not be complacent, given that we require as much water in storage as possible going into the summer of 2018/19,” he said.

Site visitors included a mix of elderly residents, pensioners from various social and sports clubs for the elderly across the Cape Town Metro, and those who live in funded and registered residential facilities, which are run by NGOs.

The department is working with 2 000 NGOs to protect the vulnerable, especially those which operate residential facilities, to develop water resilience and alternatives.

Solomon Philander, councillor for Ward 79 and chairperson for Beaconvale Community Frail Care Centre, in Beacon Valley, said they had cut their water usage and its cost by 50% within three months.

They now pay R8 000 a month for water.

The centre includes an old age home, a frail care centre, NGO offices and an early childhood development centre.

Mr Philander said they were using all measures at their disposal to save water.

“We have water points, buckets and (when we) shower or wash residents, we use water sparingly,” he said.