Day Zero could still come‚ Cape business warned

11 April 2018 - 15:14 By Timeslive
A dried out dam is pictured on a farm in Piket Bo-berg, Piketberg, north of Cape Town, on March 7, 2018 as a result of a three-year-long drought.
A dried out dam is pictured on a farm in Piket Bo-berg, Piketberg, north of Cape Town, on March 7, 2018 as a result of a three-year-long drought.
Image: WIKUS DE WET / AFP

How will your company be affected if the taps run dry for three months this year or next?

That’s the grim scenario businesses have been asked to contemplate in a survey of the economic impact of the drought in the Western Cape.

Since 2015‚ the drought is estimated to have cost more than R14-billion in the agriculture sector alone‚ but the provincial economic development department has commissioned the online survey in an attempt to get a more accurate picture across all business sectors.

Business are asked about their water consumption and savings‚ as well as the costs they have incurred in securing alternative water supplies.

The come the chilling questions: “What percentage decrease [in revenue and jobs] will your business/industry experience if there is no piped/municipal water for three months in 2018 or 2019?” or “if you need to use 45% less [off 2015 baseline] municipal supplied water for the next two years?”

The survey also floats the idea of water tariff increases ranging between 25% and 400%‚ asking what impact they would have on production and sales revenue.

Finally‚ it asks what support businesses need to survive the crisis‚ and whether they have planned for Day Zero.

The economic development department said the survey aimed to achieve “a better understanding of the business response to the crisis‚ as well as current and potential future impacts of the crisis”.


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