CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) --
South Africa’s Cape Town city has managed to push
back “Day Zero,” the day when water taps would turn off in 2018,
authorities said Wednesday.
Thanks to steady
drop in water consumption, the city was able to push back Day
Zero by days, and then weeks, and then months, said Mmusi
Maimane, leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) that
administers the city.
“I am therefore
happy to announce today that provided we continue consuming
water at current levels, and we receive decent winter rainfall
this year, Day Zero will not occur in 2018,” Maimane told a
press briefing in Cape Town.
The city previously
announced April 21 as Day Zero and later changed the date to
With a population of
about 6 million, Cape Town has been hit by the worst drought in
history. If Day Zero arrives, the city would be the world’s
first metropolis to run out of water.
now sits at between 510 and 520 million litres per day, down
from almost 1.2 billion litres in February 2015, according to
families, communities, businesses, private dam owners and many
others have joined in the water-saving campaign, Maimane said.
cautioned that while it is now unlikely to occur in 2018, Day
Zero is still a very real possibility during the 2019 summer
months if there is no significant rainfall this winter.
“I want to
reiterate, and can not stress enough, that we need to keep at
current consumptions levels until at least after the winter
rainfall,” he said.
continue to use less than 50 litres of water per day in line
with Level 6B water restrictions so that Day Zero can be
defeated in its entirety, Maimane said.
announced that through augmentation projects, the city will be
adding an additional 190 million liters of water per day to the
supply system by the end of this year, growing to 220 million
liters in 2019 and eventually reaching 300 million liters in
Trade ambassador pleads with
to heed Mandela’s words on “just rules”
GENEVA (Xinhua) --
The outgoing chairman of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO)
General Council Xavier Carim of South Africa on Wednesday quoted
a Nelson Mandela speech made 20 years ago when Mandela said
rules must be just.
Carim handed his
baton to the newly-elected chairman Junichi Ihara of Japan after
new members were elected to the body that oversees the regular
work of the WTO.
The South African
WTO ambassador noted that many of the issues raised by Mandela
at the time of his speech continue to resonate now regarding
global trade issues.
His speech came in
the same week that WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo called
on the 164 members of the organization to avoid triggering an
escalation in trade barriers after threats made by U.S.
President Donald Trump and his derision of the world trade
body’s adjudicating body.
Carim noted Mandela
had said: “Rules must be applied...but if they contain
prescriptions that cannot be complied with by all, or if the
results benefit too few, then injustice will emerge.”
“Then it is prudent
to remember that no amount of rules, or their enforcement, will
defeat those who struggle with justice on their side.”
Carim noted late
President Mandela was of course drawing on his own experience of
South Africa’s struggle for freedom, but that elements of the
speech have a bearing on the WTO’s work.
He said the WTO’s
work is not immune to the growing concerns about the impact of
globalization, trade, and trade agreements on job security,
inequality, and development.
He noted that such
concerns had been raised by many developing countries in the
past, “but the fact that similar concerns are now more strongly
voiced by citizens across developed countries is a significant
new development and manifests in ways that deeply affect our
organization, where decisions are taken by consensus, ongoing
and practical expressions of the principles of transparency and
inclusivity are a baseline for a fairer, more inclusive and
developmental multilateralism,” said Carim.
At a minimum, he
said inclusivity requires that WTO processes and decisions fully
consider the views of members from the different geographic
regions, at different levels of development, but the decisions
and processes should also fully engage with the competing policy
perspectives and priorities of WTO members.
Zambian and South
African provinces sign cooperation agreement
LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) --
Zambia’s Luapula Province and South Africa’s
NorthWest Province on Wednesday signed a memorandum of
understanding to strengthen working partnership and
follows a four-day visit by a delegation from the Zambian
province led by provincial minister Nixon Chilangwa, which
toured various projects in the South African province and held
talks with the leadership of the province.
The agreement was
signed by Chilangwa and South Africa’s NorthWest Premier Supra
Mahumapelo, said a statement released by the Zambian embassy in
Chilangwa, the agreement will promote collaboration in
investment and exchange programs related to agriculture,
livestock and fisheries, forestry, tourism and mining.
He added that the
agreement will cement the existing cooperation between the two
Mahumapelo said the
province was excited about the relationship between the two
provinces and that his team was impressed with the resource
endowment of the Zambian province during a visit last year.
The two provinces,
he said, are eager to explore possibilities of improving and
diversifying bilateral relationship in various sectors for