The Theewaterskloof dam near Villiersdorp in the Western Cape is only 28% full. Cape Town says the six major dams that supply the city are, on average, only 38% full. Picture: DAVID HARRISON
The Theewaterskloof dam near Villiersdorp in the Western Cape is only 28% full. Cape Town says the six major dams that supply the city are, on average, only 38% full. Picture: DAVID HARRISON

The government will have to refund the Western Cape and the City of Cape Town for the costs they are incurring to manage the water crisis‚ the Western Cape provincial cabinet resolved on Wednesday.

A statement from Michael Mpofu‚ spokesperson for premier Helen Zille‚ said managing the crisis meant the bulk water supply would have to be increased‚ and the provincial and city government were doing this. However‚ "the provision of bulk water supply is a national government mandate"‚ said the statement.

"Where water supply has to be increased in emergency circumstances by the province or the city‚ it amounts to an unfunded emergency mandate‚ for which the costs have to be recovered."

The cabinet was briefed by the Western Cape police commissioner‚ Major-General Khombinkosi Jula‚ about the "day zero" security plan for Cape Town.

"The South African Police Service presented a strategy that included the deployment of forces at the various points of distribution across the metro‚ regular patrols‚ escorting of water resources to critical points where necessary‚ and 24-hour monitoring of crime hot spots‚" said the statement.

Troops‚ military police officers‚ law enforcement and traffic officers would provide additional support.

"General Jula informed the provincial cabinet that a joint operations centre would be activated in order to co-ordinate all security efforts. The police will also have representation in all high-level disaster management meetings," the statement said. "The police have undertaken to work very closely with the provincial cabinet and the provincial disaster management centre."

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