No more free jugs of water at Cape Town restaurants?

07 September 2017 - 15:39 By Dan Meyer
Woman pouring water into a glass stock photo.
Woman pouring water into a glass stock photo.
Image: iStock

Ordering a big jug of water with ice and lemon for the table might be a thing of the past for Cape Town’s restaurant-goers with level 5 water restrictions having forced owners to make some changes.

Tony Marchbank‚ owner of Ristorante Club Italiana in Rugby‚ Cape Town‚ has told his guests that they are welcome to ask for a glass of tap water but finds that guests seldom drink all the water in a jug for the table.

“We do functions for 500 people and more sometimes – that’s a lot of water going to waste!” he said.

Along with other commercial property owners‚ he has had to reduce his consumption by 20% since last year as the latest round of restrictions came into effect and Marchbank has felt the effects of the drought first-hand.

“After shifts we used to hose the kitchen and floors down‚ now we’ve had to resort to using dry cloths a lot of the time‚” he said.

He has also reconnected toilets to rainwater sources and says these collective measures have successfully reduced their consumption by more than the stipulated 20%.

Raimondo Napoli‚ owner of Bacini’s restaurant on Kloofneck‚ is also considering scrapping jugs of water.

“Everybody gets them‚ but nobody drinks the damn things!” said Napoli.

National trade association for the hospitality industry FEDHASA says that while the situation is very serious for the hospitality industry‚ they are committed to ensuring that targets are met.

“We need to tighten our belts and we have done this already. We have had to ask ourselves how we can contribute to the saving of water and keep service numbers at the highest level‚” said chief executive Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa.

He added that the service industry should assume the responsibility of informing visitors to the Western Cape of the severity of the drought.

“If you enjoy the Cape and its splendour‚ you need to be informed of the issues it’s currently facing‚” he said.