The South African government has declared the drought affecting the southern and western areas of the country a national disaster.
The decision hands primary responsibility to coordinate and manage measures to deal with the drought to the national executive, according to a statement by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs published in the Government Gazette on Wednesday.
The government will “strengthen and support the disaster management structures to implement contingency plans and ensure that immediate relief, recovery and reconstruction measures are put in place to enable the national executive to effectively deal with the effects of this disaster,” according to the statement.
Cape Town, which is contending with the worst drought on record, has pushed out the estimated date on which it may have to turn off water supplies to residents by about four weeks to May 11, as use by farmers declines.
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