The City of Cape Town’s dreaded Day Zero has been pushed to July 9 instead of the scheduled date of June 4, the Democratic Alliance has announced, despite the city not meeting water conservation targets.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said in a statement on Tuesday that the “reduced consumption that continues to be sustained by Capetonians” was the main reason behind the decision to move Day Zero back.

But, the City of Cape Town is still using more water than it should to beat Day Zero.

“While we have not yet reached the target of 450 megalitres per day, we have together brought down our daily usage by 3 megalitres which is an encouraging step in the right direction.
Over the past week, consumption has averaged 523 ML per day,” Maimane said. He encouraged Capetonians “to use under 50L per day” in order for Day Zero to be “pushed even further back” and “defeated altogether”.

Maimane commended the efforts of Capetonians to reduce their water consumption. He also thanked private water sources in the Groenland wine area for making more water available for public use.

The DA is currently facing both a water crisis in the Cape and an internal crisis of its own as it battles factional infighting in its City of Cape Town caucus that has left Mayor Patricia de Lille out of the loop on managing the water crisis.

Maimane appointed City of Cape Town deputy mayor Ian Neilson to deal with the drought management after members of the party accused de Lille of corruption.

The party has been criticised for an apparent lack of planning around Day Zero— the day when the City turns off taps for areas, excluding townships, emergency services, and the central business district – because it has yet to release specific information on where water collections points will be situated and how people with disabilities or young children will be able to collect their 25L a day ration.