JOHANNESBURG – Vodacom has committed itself to working closely with National government to help alleviate the Water Crisis engulfing the Eastern and Western Cape provinces. The commitment follows a productive meeting that Vodacom senior executives had with national government representatives in Cape Town.
The City of Cape Town is grappling with its worst drought in over a century due to insufficient rainfall and fast declining dam levels. Last week, the City of nearly 4 million residents moved its estimate for “Day Zero” to 9 July from 4 June due to a weekly drop in dam levels of only 0.5% (as compared to a 1.9% drop in 2014). Dam levels in Cape Town remain low and they are now at 24.4%, from 32% in December, with just under 20% being usable water. The City recently set a water restriction of a maximum of 50 litres per person per day whether at home, work, school or elsewhere.
Three districts in the Eastern Cape have already declared a state of disaster due to drought since May 2017 and they include the Sarah Baartman District Municipality, Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality and the Amathole District Municipality. According to the provincial government, a few more districts are fast approaching the same point.
Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer: Corporate Affairs for Vodacom Group commented:
“We had a fruitful meeting with national government and gave the government our commitment to helping in any way that we can to alleviate the Water Crisis in Western and Eastern Cape provinces. Quite crucially, we agreed on various streams of collaboration, namely immediate humanitarian assistance which will cover Vodacom employees and their families in both provinces. Furthermore, last year, following the devastating effects of storms and fires in Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal, we allocated R10 million from Disaster Recovery Fund, mostly to help rebuild and repair ten damaged schools. We have already spent R6 million of the funds and the remainder will now go into the water crisis in this financial period. Given our track record and good work done in education through the Vodacom Foundation, the funds from the Disaster Fund will be used to provide water solutions for schools in township and rural areas in both provinces. This will ensure that learning in township and rural schools continue without any disruptions and that learner’s preparations for mid-year exams are not compromised in anyway.”
As a company with strong local roots, if there’s one thing we are really passionate about at Vodacom, it’s making a difference in society. Vodacom is committed to playing its role as a responsible and good corporate citizen and in doing this; the company is guided by the Sustainable Development Goals, the National Development Plan and applicable laws. For over 19 years, Vodacom, through the Vodacom Foundation has contributed to societal development through social investments by providing relevant communication and technology solutions that promote socioeconomic upliftment.