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‘Only Flush When You Need to’ Is the Advice to Cape Town Execs

  • Cape Town is contending with its worst drought on record
  • Conference delegates offered hand sanitizer instead of water
Waterless hand sanitizer dispensers appear in the restrooms at the Mining Indaba.
Waterless hand sanitizer dispensers appear in the restrooms at the Mining Indaba.Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Executives flying into Cape Town for Africa’s biggest annual mining conference are immediately confronted by the city’s looming water crisis.

The city is reminding visitors to “only flush when you really need to” and there’s hand sanitizer instead of tap water at sinks in the conference center. Bath plugs are missing from hotel showers. And for jet-lagged executives or anyone who overindulges at the many cocktail parties, organizers say tea and coffee servings will be limited.