Water shedding begins in Nelson Mandela Bay

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Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu says water supply will be restricted at Nelson Mandela Bay Metro as of Monday. Mchunu visited Impofu and Kouga dams to assess the situation. This as day zero looms in the metro, with combined water levels below 12 percent. The department has intervened to assist with the crisis and has since invoked Section 63 of the Water Services Act.

Numerous areas have already experienced water cuts due to infrastructure failures and empty reservoirs in the metro. Mchunu says ailing infrastructure also need to be fixed.

“We specifically went to Impofu dam and Kouga dam to garner the attention of the people of Nelson Mandela Bay to this reality. We are not in a fiction here. We are not photo shooting something or a movie. We know even if we close these leaks, if the state of infrastructure underground is the leaks itself. It can’t be doctored it can’t be remedied it can’t refurbished. It would mean that we are working backwards and we are working taxpayer’s money”, says Mchunu.

Water shedding begins

Meanwhile day one of water shedding at the Kouga Local Municipality has commenced. This is due to the low levels at the Impofu dam and with the Churchill dam reaching below the 10% mark. Affected areas will include Jeffery’s Bay, Humansdorp and the greater St Francis area.

Residents will bear the brunt of a six hour water outage per day. They say they understand, but are obviously frustrated.

“The water crisis here is affecting us very bad. Yes we do understand that the dams are dry and we praying for rain soon in our catchment areas. We just hope the municipality will keep its word and make sure they stick to the times they tell us.”

“It’s very frustrating but I can understand why the municipality has done this. Water is a scarce resource and it’s very frustrating, however if we don’t watch our consumption then we’ll have no water,” says another resident.

The local businesses are also feeling the pinch. Business owner Denise Barnard says that her laundromat is already suffering.

“Its been day one now and we can see the difference  business is slow and we have no solution so we don’t know now all we can do is pray,” says Barnard.

Municipality seeks to restore water in resevoirs

Deputy mayor of the Kouga municipality, Hattingh Bornman says the shedding is a short term plan as it’s working around the clock to conserve and increase water supply to the region.

“We need to get more water in our reservoirs and that is the focus. We are busy now and we have enough  water in terms of volume. The issue is just the quality of water. We busy treating the water in raw plants and installing raw plants and that should be online very soon,” says Bornman.

Churchill dam, the last standing dam supplying the municipality is currently at 9 percent. Residents are urged to use water sparingly.

Former Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Mayor Athol Trollip: