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Cape Town is currently in the midst of a period of prolonged drought; Whilst this situation has implications for Cape Towns water supply, the city is still very much open for business and ready to welcome visitors over the coming weeks and months.
To counter the short-term effects of the drought and the drain on Cape Town's water supplies, the city has put in place a number of initiatives to increase the supply of water and make provision for water shortages. These initiatives have had an immediate positive impact and "Day Zero" (the hypothetical day when dam levels might fall below 13%) has now been pushed back to mid July. With the city continuing to significantly reduce its water consumption there is a strong likelihood that this date will continue to shift. Winter rains traditionally start in April so there is now a very good chance that there will be sufficient water to start filling Cape Town's dams well before Day Zero becomes a reality.
All of the hotels that we work with have procedures in place to ensure that the impact to their guests will be minimal and will have little real effect on their stay.
If you are staying at hotels in Cape Town, you will most likely find the following initiatives in place;
- you will be requested to take showers rather than baths in hotels
- swimming pools may be filled with salt water
- bed room linen (including towels) may not be changed daily.
- if you are renting a car in Cape Town you may also find that your hire car may not be washed before you pick it up.
If you are visiting Cape Town, you should be mindful of water consumption and comply with local restrictions, but none of these measures should really impact on your enjoyment of your visit to the city. All restaurants and bars will still be in operation. Many parts of the hospitality industry have proactively implemented water savings and water augmentation solutions to ensure ongoing availability of water in their establishments. A new desalination plant is also due to open in the V & A waterfront – the first of eight across the city – and this will also alleviate the situation. Water restrictions will also have no impact on your ability to access and enjoy primary tourism attractions such as Table Mountain, Cape Point, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Robben Island and of course the V+A Waterfront.
Please also be aware that the water shortages are only affecting the city of Cape Town. Beyond Cape Town, water usage is not being restricted. This includes both Hermanus and some of the Winelands region which are both just a short drive from the city centre.
The City of Cape Town has a dedicated website for anyone wanting more information;