Rand Water maintenance

Rand Water’s 53-hour planned maintenance will affect 6 municipalities.
Photo: Pixabay.

Nelson Mandela Bay: ‘Day Zero’ drawing closer and closer

Parts of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality will reportedly be without water towards the end of May as the ongoing water crisis persists.

Rand Water maintenance

Rand Water’s 53-hour planned maintenance will affect 6 municipalities.
Photo: Pixabay.

Parts of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape will have no water by the end of May, according to the Water Crisis Committee.  

The Metropolitan Municipality has had a number of water crises over the years and the drought in the Eastern Cape has worsened the situation. 


In an interview with eNCA, Antony Martel, a member of the Water Crisis Committee and a PhD candidate in the Development Studies Department at Nelson Mandela University said one of the main issues is pipes that are continuously bursting are not fixed.

“Money allocated for the water crisis at the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality was dealt out to tenders for boreholes in which only five were created. We are dealing with a municipality that has over a million people and 5 boreholes are not enough.”

Antony Martel

Martel also said that the issue is not only that there is a shortage of water but the water that communities have access to is causing illness. 

People have reportedly had diarrhoea and livestock has been sick as well from drinking the water.


Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber chief executive Denise van Huyssteen said the city’s dams face the possibility of running dry. Many reservoirs will naturally be starved of water due to the high demand. 

Van Huyssteen said with demand remaining around 280 megalitres per day (MLD), dry taps are inevitable as both the Kouga and Kromme systems serving the metro will run dry.

Pump station failures have reportedly become increasingly frequent since December 2021. 

“Due to constraints at local dams, the metro has not been able to balance the system by increasing supply from available sources as it has in the past. This has resulted in frequent mechanical/electrical breakdowns in the water supply,” she told Business Tech.

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