Capetonians brace themselves for Day Zero

Water tap - []

Day Zero, the day when Cape Town will close the city’s taps, is no longer just a blip on the horizon for residents of the Mother City.

It is reality, and bringing with it all sorts of challenges, as well as opportunities. 

At the Newlands spring in Cape Town, panicked Capetonians fill up every canister they can lay their hands on with free water. But these don’t come cheap. Canisters which usually cost around R60, are now retailing at well over R100 each.

While the water crisis is more than an inconvenience for home owners, it’s also affecting the value of their property, according to Standard Bank.

House price inflation in the city, while still outstripping the rest of the country, slowed to 9.7% in the fourth quarter, from as high as 15% two years ago, Standard Bank economist Siphamandla Mkhwanazi said in a note on Friday. And it’s just the beginning, he warned.

“The drought, and government’s slow response, will affect consumer sentiment negatively; demand for property is therefore expected to suffer and, ultimately, further dampen house-price inflation.”