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Cape water crisis communication leaves much to be desired – Activist

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A climate change activist and environmentalist has lashed out at the City of Cape Town for the manner in which it is communicating with its residents about the water crisis facing the city.

Speaking at a water symposium hosted by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) and the Wandile Zulu foundation, Jeunesse Park, lambasted the city’s communication strategy and methods, and also took aim at the city’s mayor, Patricia de Lille.

Park says, “just over a year ago, the mayor of Cape Town was telling us, oh, we must pray for water. While I think that prayer can be very strong, I though that was quite an irresponsible government response to this crisis. And it is only very recently that it seems there is some real action around what we can do.”

She also questioned the micro-level water preservation actions encouraged by the city, arguing that “it seems to the individual in Cape Town that Day Zero is completely reliant on us, on me using my less than 50 litres [of water], not everything else, but on me and my family and my friends, all of us must use less than 50 litres if we want to push Day Zero out.”

“But the way we are being told to do that, is we being berated like naughty children. It is not a form of communication that is going to elicit great action as far as I am concerned. They are trying to scare us into water conservation, which I don’t find to be the right way of going about it at all, says Park.

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