Local News Update

Today is that day many singles dread.  Particularly frustrating for me this year as I have been making an effort to meet someone.  Ironically a few people I have met through online dating, wishing me ‘Happy Valentines’.  In the spirit of this year’s Anti-Valentines it seemed appropriate to write about some of the other things happening around me.

Cape Town and South Africa seem to have been in the international news a lot recently.  Plenty of stories about President Jacob Zuma reflecting badly on the country as a whole.  There is also the embarrassing possibility of Cape Town running out of water.  More recently things are starting to look more positive.

The water crisis is far from over but in the last few weeks Day 0 has been pushed back a month.  Cape Town relies primarily on large storage dams for water.  We have a winter rainfall so the water is stored for the hot, dry summers.  Three dry winters and a growing population mean that the levels in these dams is very low.  Day 0 is the point at which most taps in Cape Town are turned off and people will have to queue for water.

Over the last year the council has steadily been increasing the water restrictions.  When you start to think about it, it is surprising how much water we waste.  Water tanks have been appearing all over the place, and are used primarily to collect rainwater.  Many grey water recycling systems have been installed.  It seems that water saving measures are widely discussed at the school gates with many people taking pride in how much they are doing.  2 min stop start showers are now normal.  This involves wetting yourself, turning the water off, then washing with soap, then a quick rinse with the water to get the soap off.  It is encouraging to know these measures are working.  It looks like we will make it to the winter rain.  Fingers crossed there is plenty of it.

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Today’s big story was the arrest of one of the Gupta brothers.  President Zuma has been implicated in a series of scandals involving corruption and state capture.  In one case it seems that money intended for poor black farmers was funneled to the Gupta’s.  It seems that even one of Jacob Zuma’s sons will be arrested for his part.  The people involved in these scandals have been described collectively as the Zuptas.

This time last year things were looking bad for South Africa’s relatively new and fragile democracy with various government officials including Zuma openly defying the laws and the constitution.  The opposition parties have been working hard to make sure they behave.  Finally at the end of last year the ANC voted for Cyril Ramaphosa, who campaigned on the basis of anti-corruption, as their new leader.  I am not naive enough to think that this is the end of our troubles but it does seem to suggest that our fragile democracy is still working.

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3 thoughts on “Local News Update

  1. Thanks for the interesting update. Australia, where I live, is known as the driest continent and my part of it, known as the driest state in the driest continent. Water restrictions for us came into harsh effect in the 1990s and things like irrigated front lawns became largely a thing of the past (depends on whether you have a bore, which is rare except in certain rural areas). Measure like harvesting rainwater and grey/wastewater are common and often enforced practice here. All new developments, for example, must have rainwater tanks. Appliances that use less water and rate water use are other measures. Yes the short shower (I like the stop/start idea but that’s a new one for us). More recently we have also had local government areas who harvest waste water (eg storm water) on a wider scale, and even wetlands that recycle waste water (by that I mean effluent) through reed beds and ecological filtration/plant systems. We also have recently spent a fortune on a desalination plant to use water from the ocean in the future. I’d love to know more about your struggles and I hope it rains soon to fill your reservoirs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was planning a longer post on the water crisis and water saving measures but this week it did not seem right with the stories of Jacob Zuma dominating the news. There was a joke on the radio that they had not talked about the water shortage for three days.

      I think the use of a stop-start shower option, certainly for the long term is dependent on the type of shower. With UK type power showers and the over bath mixer taps that are common here is is difficult to get the water to a good temperature and flowing nicely so that would not work so well. Fortunately we have a tap that means it is easy to stop and start the water.

      I know there has been talk of what we can learn from Australia regarding water shortages. If there is interest I’m sure I can write another post on water savings.

      Liked by 1 person

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