Swapping the suit ‘n tie for jeans and a t-shirt is the latest water-saving innovation to come out of the Western Cape Economic Opportunities Department, spear headed by department head Minister Alan Winde.
The self-titled ‘Minster of Cycling’ could usually either be seen dressed in suit and tie, or, if you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse – with a helmet and in his brightly coloured, body-hugging Lycra cycling gear.
But Winde, who is also a strong advocator for water saving, now has a more casual daily look. Monday – Fridays, the politician has begun wearing ‘3-Day Jeans and T-shirts’.
Winde began his personal little campaign at home in February 2018, when Cape Town’s water restrictions were increased to Level 6B, in an effort to drastically increase saving efforts. The restrictions saw each person limited to using just 50L of water per day. Meanwhile, the minster has also had a 1st-hand insight into the detrimental effects the water shortage has had on the province. Visitor booking cancellations affecting the tourism industry and thousands of job losses from the drought-stricken agricultural sector remain a great concern.
“The effect this water crisis is having on the public and on industry is very worrying. It was my duty as a government official and Capetonian to say, well, how can I take water saving a step further, even if it seems crazy, to preserve the scarce resource people and businesses depend on to survive”
Although government officials seem confident the city will not see a ‘Day Zero’ for this year at least, the Level 6B restrictions remain in place. It’s hoped that a combination of continued mass public water saving efforts together with hopes of good winter rainfall, will eventually help restore the city and province’s critically low-dams.
Winde has remained committed to his 3-day t-shirts and jeans, having his own shirts printed with a water-saving message, engaging with anyone who’s willing to listen to him on the matter. His enthusiasm for saving has sparked a fire with other offices now wanting to get on-board, including the green-investment promotion agency GreenCape, Shell garages as well as his own department. Whether in the office, in meetings or even at the recent opening of parliament for this year’s State of the Nation, for Winde, it’s been jeans and t-shirts all way!
It’s hoped more businesses and members of the public will soon join Winde’s 3-day clothing campaign, if not in the greater interest of saving more, then at least to get rid of those scratchy button-up collars and neck-restrainers.
If you haven’t yet, don’t forget to join Smile 90.4 FM’s ‘Smile Water Warriors’ campaign, make your commitment to saving and share your ideas.
Saya Pierce-Jones – Reporter, Smile90.4 FM News