Cape Town is currently experiencing one of the worst droughts in recent history. The city is open for business and welcoming visitors, but the region is still severely water-stressed, and we need everyone to help by being water-wise when visiting Cape Town.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the current water restriction and how will this affect my trip to Cape Town?
Level 5 restrictions will be in effect from October 1, which means that daily use is limited 70 litres per person. Business have to cut their water usage and have put measures in place ( such as placing hand sanitisers in bathrooms, using salt water to fill pools, providing bottled water, and getting water from alternate sources such as boreholes and rain water).
This will affect your holiday in that you are being asked to use as little water as possible, but you will still be able to do everything you need to enjoy a holiday in Cape Town.
If I visit Cape Town will there be water?
There is adequate water for your daily needs such as washing, drinking, using the toilet, and daily hygiene.
Is it irresponsible to come to Cape Town during the drought?
During peak season (November to January) international tourists only add 1% to the population of the Western Cape. This number drops from April to September. If you follow the daily usage guideline, your impact would be negligible.
The tourism sector supports approximately 300,000 much-needed jobs across the Western Cape. It is vital to preserve these jobs.
How widespread is the drought in South Africa?
The drought and water restrictions are mostly limited to parts of the Western Cape – particularly the City of Cape Town and some surrounding areas. Nearby regions such as The Overberg and The Garden Route are less impacted by water restrictions. However, it’s important to remember that South Africa in general is a water-scarce country.
Will I have access to drinking water?
Will I be able to bath, shower or use a swimming pool?
Currently, you will be able to shower and maintain daily hygiene, although showers must be kept under 90 seconds. The use of baths is entirely discouraged. Some swimming pools at hotels have been converted to salt (ocean) water or filled with rain water.
The majority of hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions have put in place measures to ensure their water usage is reduced, and many have plans for alternative supplies.
Will restaurants and bars still be in operation?
Yes. Establishments have proactively implemented water savings and alternate water solutions. Restaurants and bars are required to adhere to the water restrictions but have not, to date, been negatively affected.
Which tourism activities could be impacted?
You will still be able to access and enjoy our main attractions such as the iconic Table Mountain, Cape Point, and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
For more information visit capetown.gov.za/thinkwater.