South Africa’s government has declared a national disaster to deal with drought-stricken areas such as popular tourist destination Cape Town.
This will enable authorities to have access to special funds.
The announcement was made by Minister of Co-operative Governance Zweli Mkhize.
He said that the decision was announced at 10:00 local time (12:00GMT) following work done by the Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) on Drought and Water Scarcity.
An amount of 6 bn rand ($4.7bn; £3.4bn) was set aside in the 2018/19 budget speech for bringing relief to affected communities.
Minister Mkhize emphasised that a stringent process will be followed when allocating relief funds.
“We call on everyone in the country to use water sparingly as we are a water scarce country.”
The national disaster declaration covers a period of three months.