SA is in the midst of its worst drought since the beginning of the 20th century. Dam levels have plunged, and strict water restrictions have been implemented across the country. The ripple effects have been felt in a number of sectors and recent media reports claim R2bn in resultant trade losses. South African brands such as Associated British Foods and Tongaat Hulett report that the drought has cost them about R495m and R325m, respectively, in 2016. Scientists have indicated that this drought may be a red flag, pointing towards a long-term trend of water scarcity and risk. It is in the best interest of business to respond in a proactive and strategically responsible manner. SA is the 30th most dry country in the world, experiencing variable rainfall and receiving only half of the global rainfall average. According to the South African National Biodiversity Institute, less than 9% of SA’s rainfall finds its way into rivers and a mere 5% recharges groundwater in aquifers. The World W...

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