Fishing company Oceana will invest R20m in a desalination plant at its
west coast factory as businesses look to save water amid a major drought in the
Western Cape, officials said on Monday.

Residents of Cape Town were restricted to a maximum of 50l of water a
day from the beginning of February, as the popular tourist destination
scrambles to avert queuing for water when taps are expected to run dry in
mid-April.

The investment by Oceana means the factory will not draw water from the
municipal supply and will also not close down, saving about 2,000 jobs.

The second phase of the plan will consist of a desalination unit at
Oceana’s Laaiplek facility, which will produce about 600,000l of water per day.

“Phase one of the plan will see a R20m desalination plant, capable
of producing 800,000l of water per day, come online at their largest facility
in St Helena Bay, by the end of March,” the Western Cape provincial
government said in a statement.

The company is considering drilling boreholes on a nearby farm to
augment its water supply to the St Helena Bay factory, about 170km northwest of
Cape Town.

By the end of January dam levels in the Western Cape had fallen to 24.5%
from 25.3% the previous week, and from nearly 38% a year ago.

Source: Business Day