Cape Town’s water crisis was always going to be about the money. That the good burghers of that city were to shoulder the burden was inevitable as much as it was clear that the privilege of potable water on tap could no longer be taken for granted. As draconian water restrictions in the city and rain in the Western Cape finally brought relief, the immediate prospect of a Day Zero (when the taps run dry) receded. But only fools would maintain SA and the Cape have dodged a bullet. Obviously, now is the time to implement long-term measures for the Cape and for the rest of the country. What is less obvious is what the measures should be. One such measure is Cape Town’s acceptance of largesse from donors to conservation group The Nature Conservancy’s Water Fund, the proceeds of which will go towards clearing alien vegetation from catchments in the Cape. The reasoning is that alien plants, such as eucalyptus and Port Jackson, require much more water to grow than, say, indigenous fynbos. T...

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