UCT and the Water Crisis


As a student arriving to study at the University of Cape Town in 2018, I’m concerned about the talk of the drought and the fast approaching ‘Day Zero’. Does UCT have strategies in place to keep the university running, or is there a risk that students might be sent home?


The unfortunate reality is that at this stage, no one is certain what is going to happen. City authorities and concerned citizens are doing their best to postpone Day Zero long enough to tide us over until much needed winter rainfall arrives, but the most recent prediction is that taps will run dry on the 16th of April. Assuming this day arrives, Capetonians will have to queue at water points at various locations in the city to collect an allocated 25l per day. Many schools may have to close, and only key services, such as hospitals and certain commercial areas, will be unaffected.

To learn more about the situation and the planned response, read this - https://businesstech.co.za/news/government/221917/24-biggest-day-zero-water-crisis-concerns-and-questions-answered/

As for UCT, presumably due to uncertainty all round, little has been said officially as to what the procedure will be, should Day Zero arrive. However, it seems as though the university is planning to continue to operate, even if the taps run dry. Newsletters sent out give mention to contingency plans which are being formulated to avoid a university shutdown, and on campus, large tanks of water are seemingly being placed in preparation. The university has promised to give details regarding their contingency plans in due time.

To read more, go to

My personal belief is that, while the situation is undoubtedly scary, it should in no way affect your decision to study at UCT. While in Cape Town, it is important that we are very sparing in the water we use, and Day Zero might bring some discomfort, but the effects of this situation on the lives of students will at most last only for a few months, whereas your choice of university will go a long way in shaping the rest of your life.

Best of luck!