South Africa: Gift of the Givers Collects Water for Cape Town Drought

The Gift of the Givers has several plans to help residents of the Western Cape, which is experiencing severe drought.

Dr Imtiaz Sooliman of the Gift of the Givers urges people across South Africa to give donations for water bound for people in the Western Cape, which is experiencing a severe drought. (Image: Proudly Muslims of South Africa)

Brand South Africa reporter

The disaster relief organisation Gift of the Givers is calling on people across South Africa to drop off water at its nationwide collection points, or to make cash donations for water via its bank account. The water is earmarked for the Western Cape, which is experiencing a severe drought.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille announced that given present water consumption, Day Zero would be on 12 April 2018. Day Zero is when taps will run dry and residents will have to queue at designated waterpoints to collect the 25 litres of water allocated to each person.

The Gift of the Givers is committed to helping the residents of the Western Cape through various interventions. It had already started collecting five-litre bottled water at more than 70 collection points throughout South Africa, the organisation said.

The first delivery of this water, on 29 January, on two Gift of the Givers trucks, was made to the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) military base at Fort Ikapa, Goodwood, Cape Town. Water will be stockpiled at SANDF military bases in the province to be distributed at the most appropriate time.

The Gift of the Givers (Waqful Waqifin Foundation) has been involved in drought relief since October 2015. Between August and December 2017, it delivered R40-million worth of animal feed to farmers in distress.

Severe drought areas

Founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, who is also the director and chairman, told SABC News that the organisation was also looking at areas outside Cape Town. For example, it was involved in Beaufort West last year, and would be extending its assistance to that town.

"In addition to that, we are getting calls from areas severely affected by the water shortage... [such as] Bonnievale, Ceres, Vredendal [and] Caledon," said Sooliman. "We are compiling a list of additional areas where [boreholes] have to be drilled."

Depending on the state of aquifers, boreholes are planned for Khayelitsha, Bonnievale, De Doorns, Ceres, Atlantis and Vredendal, according to the philanthropic organisation.

It is considering buying its own borehole drilling rig - at a cost of R2.5-million - to expedite the search for water in these and other areas of great need. Drilling will be supervised by Dr Gideon Groenewald, a hydrologist, geologist and palaentologist.

"We will consider drilling boreholes at hospitals and schools and reactivate existing non-functional boreholes dependent on the state of the aquifers, which have to be preserved at all costs," said the Gift of the Givers. "The setting up of a large number of JoJo tanks in strategic locations is another planned intervention, [as is] is the distribution of hand sanitisers and wet wipes.

"A key aspect of the intervention is the sourcing of pure, tested, clean drinking water from various springs and delivery of that in water tankers to JoJo tanks. A list of institutions in urgent need of water, including homes for the elderly, orphanages, and homes for the physically and mentally challenged will be compiled and water delivered to them."

A call goes out

Since 27 January 2018, the Gift of the Givers has been stockpiling at a South African National Defence Force military base in the Western Cape water it has collected. (Image: Voice of the Cape 91.3 FM)

Co-operation and support from corporates, government departments and the public at large will enhance the Gift of the Givers' efforts.

Transnet will be engaged to provide trains for transporting water from all parts of South Africa, and shipping companies for transport from Durban harbour to Cape Town, while road transporters have been asked to give modest space on their trucks to Cape Town.

The Gift of the Givers has put up a list of collection points across South Africa, where people can donate water for the drought in the Western Cape. Sooliman said, however, that it would be more convenient if people donated cash for the water, so that the organisation could buy water nearer to the drought-stricken regions; this would save on transport costs.

"That said, we are calling on trucking companies to make themselves available to take on a few pallets on each delivery to Cape Town," he added.

Cash donations can be made to the Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, account number 052137228, branch code 057525. Send the deposit slip to

All interventions are dependent on the availability of resources, public and private support and time to get to all water points.

You can find the collection points list, here.

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