Day Zero panic costly
The City Council recently issued a media release on the need to revive the film and media sector in Cape Town.
The release read “business is down by 40% and businesses serving the industry are closing down and staff hiring numbers are down”.
What has happened? The release gives a variety of reasons but what it doesn’t mention is the Day Zero panic. That was like sending a message to the international film industry saying “Don’t plan to do your filming in Cape Town because we might run out of water any day now”.
Not surprisingly, the industry found other locations where the welcome was warm and there was water in the taps. The question now is will they return to Cape Town? Maybe. Maybe not.
The film industry injected R3.5bn into the local economy and created 9500 direct and indirect jobs in 2015, so it is a significant player in our economy. Tourism was also affected by the “day zero” panic so how much has the mismanagement of the drought really cost us in terms of investments and jobs?
The drought crisis was largely caused by poor planning and for that the City and its officials must accept responsibility. Denial will get us nowhere.