Accelerate Cape Town and Wesgro hosted a thought leadership breakfast for businesses this morning on “Avoiding ‘Day Zero’ in 2018 and beyond”.
This gathering provided a briefing on the current water crisis in Cape Town and discussed how businesses are becoming water resilient in the long term.
This meeting is the first in a series providing business with regular status updates on the drought, as well as insights on how business and government can work together to become more resilient, develop contingency plans, and partner on long-term solutions. The series aims to provide stakeholders with practical and implementable water saving solutions, facilitate information flow between government and business, and help design public-private solutions to diversify Cape Town’s water sources.
The key speakers at the event include Minister Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities and Alderman Ian Neilson, Deputy Mayor of the City of Cape Town.
The panel discussion and Q&A segment included Dr Klaudia Schachtschneider, from the WWF; Lance Greyling, Director of Enterprise and Investment, City of Cape Town; Helen Davies, Chief Director of the Green Economy, Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism; Dr Gisela Kaiser, Director of Informational Settlements, Water and Waste, City of Cape Town; and Claire Pengelly, GreenCape Water Programme Manager.
Accelerate Cape Town CEO, Ryan Ravens said: “With increasing levels of collaboration amongst business and government, supported by the concerted efforts of Capetonians to save this precious resource, it is becoming more and more likely that we will avoid Day Zero in the early part of 2018. We are however a long way from enjoying a comfortable level of water security, and whilst we do everything possible to stave off the short-term catastrophe, we should not lose sight of the need to build long-term resilience. The partnership between Wesgro and Accelerate Cape Town highlights the importance of public-private partnerships in order to overcome one of the greatest challenges our region is likely to face.”
Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris was confident that Cape Town and the Western Cape would emerge from this drought stronger than before. “Cape Town is open for business. We are confident that ‘Day Zero’ can be avoided, if every person and business helps save water, and sticks to their allocation in terms of the level 6b restrictions. Already Capetonians have cut collective consumption by more than half in the last three years – this is a remarkable achievement which demonstrates our resilience. We are excited to be working with Accelerate Cape Town on this initiative, because we know that while we are going through a challenging time, we are building a world-class green economy that will be a beacon of hope for many places around the world which will encounter the effects of climate change.”