No end in sight to Gauteng water shortages

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Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu says he understands the public’s frustration over the water problems in most parts of the country.

South Africa is water-stressed due to the impact of climate change, poor management and a lack of maintenance of ageing infrastructure.

This has led to issues of water pollution and loss.

Rolling blackouts and a lack of capacity, particularly at municipal level, have also worsened the situation.

Mchunu explains the current scenario in Gauteng.

“The real case of Gauteng, overall, we are short of 300 mega litres per day. There is more than enough water in the Vaal, but in the system that supplies homes, households and businesses as well as agriculture, there’s where the shortage is. My take is that you have a situation where the demand is far more than what Rand Water is able to supply to the metro.”

Water woes in Joburg

Meanwhile, City of Joburg Mayor Thapelo Amad says while they are doing all they can to assist with water shortages, it’s difficult to say when the problem will be resolved.

Some areas in the metro have been subjected to low water pressure or no supply in the past weeks.

According to Rand Water, this is due to a pump failure at its Eikenhof station, caused by rolling blackouts.

Amad says the back and forth between Johannesburg Water and Rand Water is not helping the situation.

“Our challenge is consistency, so our intervention is limited to Rand Water, hence, why even in our media briefing yesterday, we had requested Rand Water to come on board so that they can also tentatively give us a timeline on when their infrastructure is going to be renovated or when are they going to put this issue of scarcity of water to an end.”