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SA on Water Crisis Watch


According to a report by Africa Check, South Africa has less water per person than our neighbours Botswana and Namibia, and although 88% of SA households have access to water, only 50% of homes have piped water. We are also the 39th ‘driest’ country in the world.

Besides Cape Town, some of the country’s other cities are also dealing with severe drought as dams have hit an all-time low.

‘Water crisis in the Nelson Mandela Bay deepening’ 

The water crisis in the Nelson Mandela Bay is getting worse as dam levels across the Bay have dropped drastically, with at least one metro and numerous towns at risk of running out of water.

On 5 January it was reported that the dam levels were currently at 26,94% and according to the city’s member of the Mayoral Committee for Infrastructure and Engineering, Masixole Zinto, the recorded levels – which supply drinking water to the metro – were at the “lowest ever”, as compared to 31% that was recorded in 2010.

“Although the City is putting all the efforts to cut water loss and usage, lack of rain has not helped,” she says.

Nelson Mandela Bay dam levels hit an all-time low of 26.94%

At the moment the Nelson Mandela Bay metro municipality’s combined dam capacity is 25.17 percent.

Individually‚ the Kouga dam is at 7,71%‚ Churchill Dam at 18,71%‚ Impofu Dam at 43,47%‚ Loerie Dam at 86,55% and Groendal Dam at 51,80%.

In terms of reducing water in the metro, stricter measures have been introduced and millions of rand have been pumped into improving water distribution infrastructure and clamp down on water leaks.

“More plumbers have been employed, with private sector resources pulled in to augment,” Zinto adds.

Level 1 water restriction in Johannesburg 

The City of Johannesburg says Level 1 water restrictions in the city are still in place since from March last year‚ despite the province having enjoyed some rain this summer.

Minister of Environment and Infrastructure services, Nico De Jager, says  “City of Johannesburg residents are requested to reduce their water consumption patterns as water usage has increased at an alarming rate and this is of serious concern given the recent heatwave we have been experiencing since the beginning of 2018 in Gauteng.

“With Level 1 restrictions‚ watering of gardens is not allowed between 06:00 and 18:00 in summer months. Furthermore‚ it is not allowed to wash paved areas and driveways using hose pipes‚” says De Jager.


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