‘Guilt-free’ Jozi water set for Cape Town

11 December 2017 - 15:52
By Farren Collins
Image: Gallo Images/iStock

A social experiment to supply “guilt-free” Jozi water to Cape Town could bring at least some relief for the city's water crisis.

On Friday travellers flying from Gauteng to drought-ravaged Cape Town will be encouraged to exchange five kilograms of their on-flight baggage for five litres of water.

The one-day activation between OR Tambo and Cape Town International airports will allow passengers to have their luggage weighed‚ and travellers whose luggage is five (or more) kilograms under the weight limit will be able to ‘exchange’ their unused kilograms for litres of water that will be delivered to Cape Town on their behalf.

Technology company Siemens is hoping the initiative‚ called the #SiemensAirDrop‚ will ease the strain on the city’s rapidly dwindling water supply.

Cape Town dam levels are at 35% and the city is expected to run out of potable water in May next year. Nearly 250‚000 local visitors are expected to descend on the Mother City over the festive period‚ with Vaalies (a colloquial term for tourists from inland areas) making up the bulk of them.

Head of Communications for Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa Keshin Govender said the severity of the crisis inspired them to do something.

“Every year Gautengers go to Cape Town for their holidays. If you consider that the daily per person water allocation is 87 litres‚ this places tremendous additional strain on the city.

“By simply exchanging unused luggage kilos for water‚ we hope to ‘airlift’ around 5‚000 litres of drinking water to the city in a matter of hours.”

More than 4.4-million passengers fly between Cape Town and Johannesburg each year‚ making it one of the busiest routes in the world.

Passengers will be able to collect their guilt-free Jozi water to use during their stay or can opt to leave it at a collection point at the airport‚ where uncollected water will be donated to Gift of the Givers.