Lindiwe Sisulu cONSTITUTION

Image via GCIS

Minister Sisulu rolls-out measures to deal with drought-stricken areas

The government urges South Africans to use water sparingly.

Lindiwe Sisulu cONSTITUTION

Image via GCIS

Minister of Human Settlement, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, has announced the urgent measures set to address water challenges in the country, where dam levels have been declining rapidly.

Department of Water and Sanitation predicts a very dry summer

The Department of Water and Sanitation has since conducted scientific projections that prove hot temperatures will continue until the end of the summer season.

Which means that between October and early December, South Africa will face “below-average rainfall” and this is anticipated to be accompanied by hot temperatures that can increase the evaporation levels in the low-levelled dams.

Minister Sisulu notes that the interventions are in line with the government’s latest District Model -Khawuleza- which aligns integrated service delivery across the three spheres of government, within the next 18 months.

Government echoes that climate change is a reality and citizens need to use water sparingly

This comes after the department’s recent dam levels report, which proves that some of the country’s water reservoirs are losing 1% of stored water each week, and the report details water levels to have dropped from 73,3% in the same period last year to 60% this week, which indicates a 10% loss in the last year alone.

The Minister states that the interventions will include:

  • Completing the construction of water projects,
  • the refurbishment of dysfunctional boreholes in drought-stricken areas,
  • assigning a team of specialists for rapid intervention in identified areas,
  • and addressing dysfunctional water works.

Instant interventions have been put in place across SA

In the drought-stricken Eastern Cape, the Department will provide boreholes in Graaf-Reinet, and bring the Xonxa Dam in Queenstown to supply water to the town. It is reported that Lusikisiki is earmarked for an increase in water supply, through the upgrade of local water treatment works, and the construction of Zalu dam will be instantly prioritised.

The department has gained funds via it’s Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant (RBIG) to facilitate the bulk supply of water and equipment of boreholes in Qwaqwa, Free State; as the area is currently facing water challenges since the dam level at Fika Patso has declined to 10%.

Other areas that are affected by water shortage and that have been identified for intervention are:

  • Butterworth, Lusikisiki, Port Alfred and Alfred Nzo in the Eastern Cape;
  • Aggeneys in the Namakwa District in Northern Cape.
  • Limpopo areas include, Tzaneen, Mogalakwena in Capricorn, Modimolle, Bela Bela, Thabazimbi and Polokwane.

The department has confirmed that water supply in Gauteng stays secured, as the Integrated Vaal River System is powered by 14 rivers and a contingency plan for the stabilising of this system is in place.