EMPTY: Gamka Dam
Beaufort West has reached Day Zero after it’s main water source, the Gamka dam, ran dry.

Residents and businesses of the Central Karoo dorpie are relying solely on borehole and recycled sewerage water for their supply.

Mayor Japie van der Linde said they were currently surviving on 32 boreholes, reports the Cape Argus.

“We are monitoring the boreholes each and every day. Our biggest challenge is that we need more funding to get more boreholes on line. We have two options in Beaufort West, which is to impose stricter water restrictions and drill more boreholes.

“The town needs about R23 million to build more water infrastructure and we simply don’t have that money,” he said.

Van der Linde said 40 water tankers had been ordered while there was a possibility of R4.5m donor funding.

The Western Cape Department of Local Government said it was working closely with the Beaufort West Munici- pality, with officials saying they needed up to R45m to drill more boreholes.

“We’ve been providing all sorts of support on the ground, but it’s a terrible situation. Please use as little water as possible when passing through the town,” said department spokesperson James Styan.

“The Gamka Dam, the main source of drinking water for 37 000 people, is now officially empty. The province appointed six hydrologists a few months ago who are assisting to monitor groundwater levels,” he said.

Carl Opperman, chief executive of Agri Western Cape, predicts more doom and gloom.

“An economic disaster is unfolding in the Western Cape,” he says.

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter