2020-05-08

CAPE TOWN - As dam levels dropped rapidly at the end of 2017 and Cape Town faced the looming threat of becoming the first major city where taps would run dry, households were forced to pull out all the stops to save water. But Coca Cola and other big industrial users were given a free pass.

A months-long investigation has revealed how the City of Cape Town favoured corporate business, while imposing draconian measures on the city’s approximately four-million residents to force them to cut back their water usage.

Moreover, the city of Cape Town has failed to provide the media with detailed information on water use by the city’s ten biggest consumers, including Coca Cola.

bus stop Coca Cola
A bus stop hoarding advertises Coca Cola outside the entrance to the Peninsula Beverages, Coke’s licenced manufacturers and bottlers in South Africa’s Western Cape.
Photo: Steve Kretzmann

 

Malwande Saki
Malwande Saki is one of six people living in tin-and-iron rooms in the yard of his mother's state-subsidised home the Cape Town township of Masiphumelele. They get water from the standpipe in the left of the photograph. A municipality installed water management device restricts the flow to the property to between 4 am and 9 am.
Photo: Steve Kretzmann

 

Steve Kretzmann

Steve Kretzmann is a freelance journalist with over 20 years of experience, based in South Africa.

Steve Kretzmann

Raymond Joseph

Raymond Joseph is an award-winning freelance investigative journalist. He heads up the southern African hub of the Centre for Cooperative Investigative Journalism.

Raymond Joseph

Nompumelelo Mtsweni

Nompumelelo Mtsweni is an independent web developer and researcher.

Nompumelelo Mtsweni
Supported
Grant of €3175 allocated on 01/08/2019
ID
MT/2019/072

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