eastern western Tshwane water

Eastern Suburbs in Tshwane is without water.

Water-shedding could be the next load-shedding, says Maimane

There will soon be a “full-blown crisis” of “distastrous” proportions in South Africa, says Maimane.

eastern western Tshwane water

Eastern Suburbs in Tshwane is without water.

If we do not act quickly, South Africa could soon face planned water cuts to ease the pressure on our resources, DA Leader Mmusi Maimane said during a visit to Illovo in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday.

“And water-shedding could make load-shedding look comparatively tame.”

Maimane stressed that both load-shedding, and potentially water-shedding, are the result of “a lack of planning, a lack of maintenance, a lack of skills and poor budgeting”.

“We are witnessing the exact same failures that crippled our electricity grid – infrastructure neglect, inadequate budgeting and a crippling skills shortage – unfold in the management of our water infrastructure.”

He explained that South Africa is the 30th driest country in the world and that millions of the country’s residents are being denied the Constitutional right to water.

In KwaZulu-Natal, where the dams were only 35% full on average, Maimane estimates that without rain the supply would be depleted within two months.

“In this province alone‚ an estimated 1 million people have been impacted by water shortages and water restrictions‚ while others have to walk tens of kilometres to source drinking water.”

He explained that in Madibeng, in the North West Province, some residents have gone for three years without water and yet still receive accounts from the municipality for water and sewage.

“In fact, these municipalities are the biggest obstacle to efficient water delivery in South Africa.”

He added that the “most obvious issue” that needs to be addressed is the insufficient budget set aside for fixing and maintaining water infrastructure. Another issue is that much of the existing budget goes unspent, he said.

“We simply cannot allow what happened to our energy security to also happen to our water security. If we want to avoid nation-wide water-shedding, we’re going to need the minister to play open cards with us.”

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