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Many don’t care a drop

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Seriousness of the region’s water problem has not filtered down

I cannot believe it – within an hour of my first column of the year hitting the streets my email box was starting to fill and my cellphone was beeping with SMSes. You will notice the first few columns might lag slightly behind current news events. 

The first column’s publication was delayed by a week, so it will take a while to catch up. I have spent most of the past week making myself unpopular at the office as I have spent the better part of my time on Facebook, getting involved with the water debate and directly messaging the powers-that-be in the City of Cape Town. 

My message to the council, in the words of Abraham Lincoln: “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” My message to my readers in these trying times is: “Stay strong, Cape Town.” But do people even care? 

The following sums up just how little many people care about the seriousness of the water situation. During the holidays Mrs Mac and I were looking forward to being invited to a friend’s apartment when he was down from Joburg. 

The invite never materialised, but the other day I received two emails from him. “Sorry we did not get together as suggested. We cut short our holiday because of the water shortage in Cape Town. 

We found the continuous use of minimum amounts of water and the dryness of the vegetation too stressful to enjoy ourselves, so we went back home. “Yes, you are right. Most people don’t care a damn about the water. 

During a walk, I found a water meter box on a vacant stand, piddling water. When I raised the issue with one of the neighbours, they just shrugged. I ran back to my flat, picked up a wrench and went back there to stop the water supply. They looked at me with amusement. That is when we decided to leave.”

*Handy Mac, aka Don MacAlister, is our expert on household DIY issues. If you have a question for him, please send it to or SMS only to 082 446 3859. Find Don on FB:

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