Drought crisis

Voelvlei Dam is the second-biggest source of water for Cape Town. It’s currently at 17.2%.

Western Cape gov allocates extra R82m to combat drought crisis

The Western Cape Government has announced that it has made millions more in funding available to combat the crippling drought.

Drought crisis

Voelvlei Dam is the second-biggest source of water for Cape Town. It’s currently at 17.2%.

Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape, Anton Bredel, has announced on Thursday that the Western Cape has allocated an extra R82.5 million for the drought crisis.

In a statement, Bredell said that the province’s cabinet had approved the allocation of the additional amount to the Provincial Department of Local Government for drought augmentation projects in the province.

In total, this means that the Department has allocated R108.7 million towards water augmentation projects since 1 April 2017.

Bredell says the new funding will be focussed on municipalities that border the City of Cape Town and rely on the same water supply as the city.

“These municipalities are Saldanha Bay, Drakenstein and Swartland. The funds will go to relief measures including new water augmentation and demand management projects to avoid a situation where communities may run out of water. We remain committed to assist the city in combating the ongoing drought crisis by reducing the pressure on the greater system.”

Graham Paulse, the Head of the Provincial Department for Local Government said that the departments initial spending went to assisting municipalities outside the Cape Town region who were in distress due to the drought.

Paulse said municipalities across the province have been receiving help with drought relief projects for many years.

“These included towns like Beaufort West and Ladismith. Following the past peak season over December, we can confidently state that the support the Department offered succeeded and have managed to stave off any community running out of water entirely, despite the difficult conditions.”

Minister Bredell also revealed that the Western Cape Government has so far received a total amount of R74 million for disaster relief funding. 44% has already been spent and the remainder has already been allocated to specific projects.

The National Department granted an extension for the spending of the allocated funds, which can only be spent as follows.

R40 million towards agriculture for livestock feed

R20 million to the City of Cape Town to assist in drilling into the aquifers only

R14 million for relief projects in only two other municipalities, Bitou and Theewaterskloof.

Bredel says his department looks forward to more support from national government counterparts. His statement comes on the same day as The Chairperson of the Interministerial Committee on Droughts, Des Van Rooyen, announced that the drought crisis is set to be declared a national disaster next week.

This declaration would allocate millions more to local governments struggling to pay for the various costs incurred from the water crisis.