Big plan to solve water shedding in Gauteng: report
The Democratic Alliance’s Gauteng provincial leader, alongside the Mayor of Mogale City, is planning to make an integrated water system between Johannesburg, Tshwane, and Mogale City – one of the highest areas in the province, topographically.
Solly Msimanga from the DA told Krugersdorp News the integration of the systems is expected to be finished within the next couple of weeks. On top of the new system, he also plans to push Eskom’s hand in ensuring that Rand Water can actually have the power needed to pump water through the system.
“I will also be writing to the premier to find out exactly what he’s going to do to intervene in this matter. With pressure coming from the Human Rights Commission, we can get some answers and relief for the people,” said Msimanga.
According to Tyrone Gray, the mayor of Mogale City, collaborative efforts between all spheres of government are needed to ensure a stable water supply.
Gray noted that what is needed first and foremost is for Eskom to work in unison with Rand Water.
“Gauteng, at this point, does not have a shortage of water; we have a problem with the capacity to pump water from Rand Water’s side over to municipalities. It’s not only Mogale City that is affected but also parts of Johannesburg and even parts of Ekurhuleni,” Gray told Krugersdorp News.
A continuous supply of stable electricity from the national power utility needs to be directed to areas where the reservoirs are high-lying so that municipalities can pump water consistently.
He said that municipalities had taken it upon themselves to buy boosters and generators, but it is costing taxpayers money.
On 4 October, the provincial water utility Rand Water instituted stage 2 water restrictions urging residents to take care when using water and limiting high-use customers amid reservoirs taking the strain.
The group found that water consumption had risen dramatically while the amount of usable water sitting in reservoirs decreased by 20%.
According to the utility, the restriction cut out 30% of the water supply, and municipalities are free to implement their own requirements to cut down on usage, such as banning excessive use n the garden or cleaning cars.
The outages have affected the three biggest metros – the City of Joburg, the City of Tshwane and the City of Ekurhuleni.
With rolling blackouts remaining the norm, municipal and provincial authorities and water utilities have urged consumers to cut back on their water usage because the lack of electricity means pump stations can’t continuously operate at total capacity.
Most wastewater and sewage treatment facilities have generators installed, but if they break down, there is a substantial risk of spills.
Eskom announced on 12 October the continuation of stage 2 load shedding from Wednesday until Thursday (13 October) between 16:00 and 00:00. This is set to be downgraded to Stage 1 on Friday however it remains unlikely that a stable supply of power will be secured.