In the Eastern Cape, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has been facing extreme water shortages. The Eastern Cape’s city officials have been forced to release a statement declaring Day Zero in September, due to worsened infrastructure failures that have led to a lack of water over time.

Ever since the City has struggled to provide all of its residents and businesses with water for nearly two years. It is mainly caused by drought in the area over the past few years, leaving some areas without water. However, the outcome of Day Zero could’ve been prevented if it wasn’t for the mismanagement of water resources. Some areas in the City have even had their water cut off for a couple of days due to a lack of water before the City’s water shortage progressed to Day Zero.

Declaring Day Zero in Nelson Mandela Bay

On the 4th of September, the Nelson Mandela Bay’s Municipality Infrastructure and Engineering Portfolio Councillor, Mongameli Bobani made a statement declaring Day Zero.

She stated that the city’s Western suburbs, Norther parts, and Uitenhage were affected the most. The decision to declare Day Zero is based on the fact that the city is now using more water than what is left in the province’s dams. The consumption is 290 million liters daily, where it is only supposed to use 268 million liters daily or less. The Councillor has apologized to residents about the inconvenience they experience during this time but made it clear that the municipality couldn’t prevent it as the City hasn’t been receiving adequate rainfall, leaving the dam levels at 18.8% on average. There has also only been a 1.5% increase in dam levels during the last two weeks of August as the winter rains have come to an end. As a result, there has also been a series of infrastructure failures, which has worsened the situation. It is a big issue that will shut businesses down and lead residents to take desperate measures, as they have started to break drainpipes open to get access to water.

Currently, the City is working on several projects to mitigate water supply.