IN CASE YOU MISSED IT : This has been one of our most popular stories ever! It's been shared about 3,700 times on Facebook alone and read by over 100,000 people so far.
While Capetonians are accustomed to seeing photos of empty, parched dams, with warnings that Day Zero (when the City runs dry) is around the corner, Boschendal Estate's dams were overflowing last winter. What have they got right?
Our politicians are failing us abysmally. We all need to accept that the days of water as a cheap, infinite resource are over.
Many businesses have made plans to be independent of municipal water supplies using springs, wells and boreholes, harvesting rainwater, using desalination plants and re-using grey water. Ice is being re-used to mop floors and water from air-conditioning unit outlet pipes is collected for hand washing.
Cape Town's CBDs and informal settlements (where they already collect their water from communal standpipes) will be exempt from the big shut-down that affects other homes, businesses and farms. (One hopes that water to Parliament & government office buildings, provincial office buildings and the Civic Centre will also be turned off in solidarity with citizens! One wonders how many politicians we'll see queuing for water?)
There are also municipal regions close to Cape Town which don't have water restrictions. Capetonians who can afford weekend getaways will be heading to these regions more often, just for a decent shower!
The worldwide focus on Cape Town's water crisis must be impacting on travel, conferencing and investment decisions.
CapeInfo has introduced a banner (shown above) which all listed businesses can use -- if they are DAY ZERO READY! There is a DAY ZERO READY! map which locates and links to these businesses.
DAY ZERO READY! businesses are those which will continue to offer taps & showers which run and toilets that flush, after Day Zero happens.
Depending on their water source, they may also not be restricted to the 50 or 25 litres per day personal use that will apply elsewhere.
Of course, Day Zero may never happen, and that's what everybody is hoping for. The heroes at the end of the day -- apart from Capetonians who have taken the call to save water very seriously and farmers who see their water diverted to the city -- may well be the national Department if it does extract the normally unusable 10% of water in the dams. But it will take several years before the dams ever reach a safe level.
In the meantime, travellers who are making bookings now are looking for assurances.
Some of the team at Chateau Chez behind Nevek, who checks in guests and provides concierge services.
Many property agents list their accommodation on CapeInfo. One that caught our attention is Chateau Chez. Cheryl Mengel started it almost 11 years ago with one property. It grew to six properties when she was offered another business and today stands at about 30 properties, focusing on Cape Town's Atlantic Seaboard -- Camps Bay, Green Point, Sea Point, Hout Bay, De Waterkant and surrounds.
With three family members involved, it is very much a family business and the focus is on personal attention and dedication. They have noticed that many younger guests arrive without having planned their visit, while others who have been here before look for more authentic experiences, rather than the usual attractions. So they have started a new business, "A Welcome Gift", which offers the best of Cape Town's local products and is linked to unique experiences. This is something other accommodation establishment will also be able to use.
This Villa is perfect for a family getaway. It’s a short stroll to Camps Bay beach, yet set away from the bustle of the boulevard of café’s, restaurants and wine bars that line the famous Camps Bay strip.
Comprised of natural palette interiors and open-plan living. The well-conceived spatial layout means that bedrooms are privately set apart. Central points of recreation converge so that the dining room, kitchens and lounge face out onto leisure decks and chill-out corners.