The City of Cape Town recently received a €5.7 million grant from the German government to fund its water strategy projects.

“This grant will be put towards a range of professional services and technical training, including optimal use of wastewater as a resource,” said Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Waste, Xanthea Limberg, at a Day Zero media briefing yesterday (Wednesday).

The briefing reflected on how far the city had come in the last two years, with Limberg highlighting that Cape Town had been recognised by the International Water Association as the global “water-saving capital”.

“The world is still watching Cape Town and is keenly waiting to see how lessons are translated into action,” added Limberg.

The possibility of Day Zero was announced in 2018 when dam levels in Cape Town reached 25% and decreased further to 19%. However, through a combination of reduced water consumption among residents and a range of interventions by City administration, the threat of Day Zero never became a reality.

The tourism industry, though, was not unaffected by the drought, with CEO of Cape Town Tourism (CTT) Enver Duminy, commenting: “It has been a period of immense pressure for the tourism sector; the drought has changed our landscape forever.”

He said recovery from the drought had been no small feat, and CTT had collaborated with multiple stakeholders, including Wesgro.

“We’ve truly learned to ‘Save like a Local’ and to share that information with our visitors, while spreading the message that Cape Town is a world-class destination,” said Duminy.

“We did a campaign targeting recovery from the drought, which we called ‘Nowhere Better’,” Wesgro CEO Tim Harris told Tourism Update. He noted that the communication efforts were based around a ‘white label’ campaign that allowed all stakeholders to share all content across their individual platforms, to ensure everyone was sharing the same message.

 “While we have achieved a lot, there is still a long way to go,” concluded Limberg.