The drought in South Africa's Western, Eastern and Northern Cape provinces could be declared national disasters as early as next week, government said on Thursday.
The announcement was made by members of a Cabinet task team on drought and water scarcity in Cape Town.
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen is heading the team dealing with the water crisis.
"Efforts to classify the drought as a national disaster are under way," said Van Rooyen, saying an announcement on this could be made on February 14.
Cape Town, the hardest hit by the water crisis, could become the first modern major city in the world to run out of water by May 11 - the day now popularly known as "Day Zero".