South African Breweries (SAB) has been marked as the first corporation to step up to the plate of assisting Cape Town to deal with Day Zero, that is a day when the city’s water taps are set to run dry due to a menacing drought.
Western Cape premier Helen Zille announced that SAB, a subsidiary of global beer brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev, will assist the city in the packaging and distribution of water to households when #Day Zero struck.
“We have to look at supplementary methods, in partnership with the many private sector corporations that deliver their products to the farthest reaches of this province, in every community, every day,” said Zille.
She added that “South African Breweries have been the first to step up to the plate. In a discussion this weekend, Mr Ricardo Tadeu, SAB’s Zone President for Africa, and Mr Des Jacobs, SABS Western Cape Regional Director, committed the Newlands brewery to fill 12-million quart bottles with water (instead of beer) from the famous spring (whose water is normally used to brew beer). The SAB network will deliver water to retail outlets in designated areas of greatest need over several weeks. The bottling of water will have to start as soon as possible to ensure sufficient stockpiles.”
She added that work is well under way between SAB and the South African Bureau of Standards to ensure that the bottled water will meet the required quality standard. “Production will begin soon, and the bottles, labelled ‘Water, Not for Sale’, will be delivered at outlets when Day Zero arrives. Consumers will pay R1 for each quart which is about three quarters of a litre, with a maximum limit per person. The R1 is the cost of the bottle’s deposit. The water itself is free. When the bottle is returned, empty, it will be replaced, full, at no charge.”
She said the government was in discussion with the South African National Defence Force to store water supplies at military bases for safety.
“There is a lot more we must do in partnership with the extensive retail distribution networks to deliver water to places people routinely visit during the course of the day – like supermarkets and cafes. During the days ahead I will be meeting representatives of major retailers and courier companies to discuss details of an emergency water distribution network in order to provide a massive multiplier effect for the Point of Distributions (PoDs). We will work closely with the City’s team preparing for Day Zero. Together we will have to step up public communication massively, so that no one is in doubt about the threat the City faces.”