South Africa: #CapeWatergate - in the End, What Was Day Zero All About?

analysis

Now that Day Zero has been pushed back to 2019, it is possible to take a step back, draw breath, and consider Cape Town's water crisis anew. In particular: what was the Day Zero messaging actually about? What role did Tony Leon's communications agency play in the end? And what does the City of Cape Town wish it had done differently in trying to get Capetonians to get on board? (Spoiler alert: nothing.) By REBECCA DAVIS.

17 January 2018, and 7 March 2018

Those have been the two red letter days of the Cape water crisis. It was on 17 January that Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille announced that the city had reached "a point of no return" in its water supplies, and Day Zero was now virtually guaranteed in a matter of weeks.

And it was on 7 March that DA leader Mmusi Maimane broke the glad news that Day Zero had been pushed out to 2019.

Coming less than two months apart, the difference in these statements has understandably caused some public confusion. Conspiracy theories now abound, and reached fever pitch in the National Assembly last week when a National Freedom Party MP suggested that Day Zero...

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