● The Western Cape has been severely affected by ongoing drought. According to the City of Cape
Town, annual major dam levels almost halved, from 53% in July 2016, to 28% in July 2017. Useable
water stored in dams is approximately 10% less than actual dam levels. The City of Cape Town is
exploring water reclamation, aquifer extraction and desalination, among other measures.
● According to the Department of Water and Sanitation, of the 211 dams across the country that were
monitored by the Department in 2017, 13 were below 10%, 33 were between 10% and 40%, and 57
dams were over 100% full.
● According to Western Cape government reports, the Knysna fires led to the evacuation of approximately
10 000 people. These fires were the first in South Africa to be declared a Type 1 incident, as they
required the largest ever deployment of over 1 000 firefighters.