In my city of Cape Town, there is only one topic of conversation: water

Raymond Joseph has worked for South African newspapers in senior editorial positions. He is a former International Center for Journalists Knight Fellow and also led Code for South Africa’s media program and data journalism academy.

 

(CNN)Popping into my local supermarket in Cape Town a few days ago, I noticed something I’d never seen before — a long line of people queuing out the door. A woman in the queue told me they were waiting for a delivery of bottled water, as the store had run out of it earlier in the day.

A few minutes later, I watched as workers wheeled out pallets stacked high with five-liter bottles of water. Suddenly, pandemonium broke out as people pushed, shoved and argued in their rush to pack shopping trolleys with as many bottles as possible.
Sadly, this is nothing new. On Wednesday, a fight broke out on a quiet suburban road where one of several natural springs bubbles to the surface.
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