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Water’s back on in Gauteng — but for how long, residents wonder

Water’s back on in Gauteng — but for how long, residents wonder
A pedestrian walks past a water tank placed in the North Riding, Johannesburg. (Photo: Gallo Images / Beeld / Cornel van Heerden)

Gauteng residents are relieved that Rand Water has lifted restrictions and opened the taps, but there are fears more cuts are on the way.

There was cautious optimism among residents as Gauteng’s water supply was restored after severe cuts caused widespread distress.

SA is ‘staring down the barrel’ of a water security crisis predicted decades ago – expert

“Since 1994, every year they spent millions of rands to upgrade the dams and water infrastructure in the Gauteng province, but year in and year out, we experience water cuts. Where does that money go?” These were the words of one unhappy Gauteng resident.

Others blamed the lack of maintenance of water infrastructure and rolling blackouts for water issues in the province.

“Our water just randomly gets cut…  the ANC is deliberately breaking down our country and we keep voting them in — this time I promise to vote wisely. PS, no train service either,” noted one respondent to a survey question posed by Daily Maverick on how readers were coping with water cuts.


“Ekurhuleni, Tsakane Extension 19 water supply had been a problem almost daily even before the prevalent water supply challenges. We go on for five consecutive days with dry taps… in Benoni, constant repairs on water lines cause air locks and frustration when opening taps,” said another.

Rand Water said the restrictions were due to multiple issues, including continued leaks, increased water usage due to heat waves in parts of the province and the impact of rolling blackouts.

Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality was so badly affected by the water restrictions that Johannesburg Water had to call an emergency meeting as water levels shifted from critically low to empty.

Read more in Daily Maverick: “Johannesburg Water calls emergency meeting as levels shift from critically low to empty

According to one respondent: “Burst pipes are a daily occurrence in all suburbs in the City of Johannesburg. Joburg must put a plan in place for the whole system.”

Johannesburg Water’s Commando system covers suburbs including Montgomery Park, Westbury, Hursthill, Greymont, Coronationville, Newclare, Albertville, Melville, Richmond, Parkview, Greenside, Brixton, Crosby, Montclare, Jan Hofmeyer, Sophiatown and Newlands.

Last week, Rand Water announced it would lift water restrictions in the province after stabilisation in reservoir levels.

While Gauteng residents have welcomed the decision by Rand Water, they are not convinced that water cuts are a thing of the past. DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Veronica Goulding says:

    Bryanston’s water pipes were put in years ago based on a single house per plot. Now without any thought at all the Council allows multi units on one stand ( sometimes up to 14). The pipes are old and cannot have so much water roaring through them. The result we have burst pipes; water flowing everywhere; pipes quickly fixed but done badly and as soon as the water is released from the reservoir the next section of the pipe bursts and everything is repeated again and again and again Nothing permant is ever done!

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