Water Crisis in Cape Town and how a Capitalist Approach could Solve the Issue

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Updated: Mar 18, 2023
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In this paper, I address the water crisis in Cape Town, South Africa, and how I believe a capitalist approach could help save them from day zero. According to www.study.com, South Africa gained its independence on May 31, 1961, and In 1910 the British created the union of South Africa. South Africa is ranked 4 out of 47 sub-Saharan African countries and, overall, is above world averages. South Africa’s population comes to around 55.9 million people, Its GDP is $739.4 billion, and its GDP per capita is around $13,225. Overall, South Africa is a fairly stable country and is one of the world’s largest exporters of gold, platinum, as well as many other resources.

Water shortages can be caused by climate change, changing weather patterns, including droughts or floods, increased pollution, and increased demand and overuse of water. A water crisis is a situation where the available, unpolluted water within a region is less than the region’s demand. This water crisis is brought about by a mixture of these, including drought and population increase. Water is a necessity for every living being, especially the human race. We use water every day to wash our hands, body, and teeth. To drink and do so much more. A lot of people think of water in abundance and that we will never run out because 71% of the earth’s surface is water. For cape town, the story is very different, every day is another day closer to a city of 4 million being completely out of water. This country can do more to help its own citizens but is struggling to do that for the citizens of Cape Town. The most this government can do is apply restrictions and new laws. When in fact, a capitalist approach could do more than many think. It could bring in a huge pay off for capitalists and possibly solve a major water crisis. When water is so cheap and is made out to seem in abundance, it is almost a goldmine for capitalists to make a major profit off of while helping people continue to get the water they need. For example, a wealthy capitalist could come in and build a saltwater desalination plant, and there is a perfect scenario of supply and demand.

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Capitalism is tied into my topic because I see this issue as a way for any business to step in and help a government out by providing ideas and ways for cape town to sort out the water crisis. Any smart businessman who endows with capitalist culture could see that if there is a profit on something like this, it is a tremendously high profit, and there is a high margin for supply and demand. In chapter 6 of the book, when it speaks of hunger, thirst could be viewed as a new issue that future generations and obviously people now are facing.

South Africa has implemented some new rules in the wake of the water crisis. The government is implementing more strict restrictions to conserve as much water as possible. The city officials want the daily consumption of water to drop from 613 million liters to 500 million liters. They have implemented a policy that farmers have to use 60% less water than what they have previously used, and water officials have even slowed water pressure down to just a trickle so that water is not wasted by leaking pipes. Residents of cape town are limited to 50 liters a day, to put it into perspective, 50 liters is about one half-full bath. These policies were put in place to ensure that everyone gets enough water each day for all of their necessities and also so they can try and stretch that day zero deadline out as long as possible.

Citizens who have been struggling the most with these implementations have been commercial farmers, not only do humans have to cope with less water, but so does agriculture. Commercial farmers have strict rules on water consumption, and if they do not follow these rules, then penalties will be put on them. These penalties include hefty fines and having water management devices put on their farms. According to Cape Town’s new laws, “In terms of the Water By-law (2010) and Amendment (2018), you could be issued a fine by the City if you contravene water restrictions. Repeat offenders may be summonsed and prosecuted.”

There are not many positive outcomes of a water crisis, but for Cape Town, a positive is that their government is doing a good job with limitations to try and stretch this out and conserve as much water as possible. Now the negative is that people who in the past took water for granted, as all of us do, have to make do with 50 liters per day. It is a lifestyle change that the people of Cape Town must cope with. On top of this, farmers may go out of business because their plants may die from a lack of enough water. Food supplies may go down as well because plants are dying from this 3-year drought which started in 2015- present time.

I would say this is more of a transformationalist perspective on this situation because if a capitalist approach were to be taken so that a business could help solve the water crisis while being beneficial economically, it would technically be saying it is okay to exchange culture from one end of the globe to the next. If it were a skeptical perspective towards globalization in this issue, many would have the mindset do not let a capitalist help us with this crisis we will solve it on our own.

What I have found is that capitalism is a very good economic ideology and should be practiced globally. I really do believe that a capitalistic approach to Cape Town’s water crisis can help them end the tariff’s that they put on water and stop the implemented policies that keep water consumption per household at 50 liters a day. This topic that I chose is not in itself capitalism, but I wrote about it because capitalism can solve this issue. The nature of capitalism promotes excellence among everyone and creates a more diverse and wealthy country in which the wealthy are able to donate and help out the government when needed.

Water Crisis in Cape Town and how a Capitalist Approach could Solve the Issue essay

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Water Crisis in Cape Town and How A Capitalist Approach Could Solve the Issue. (2023, Mar 18). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/water-crisis-in-cape-town-and-how-a-capitalist-approach-could-solve-the-issue/