Water woes hit areas west of Pretoria after reservoirs run dry
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Pretoria - Reservoirs west of Pretoria are critically low and empty despite efforts made by the City of Tshwane to channel water to these areas.
The areas have received an insufficient water supply because of low pressure.
Phillip Nel, the MMC for Utility Services and Regional Operation and Co-ordination, said this happened despite the interventions and careful management of the supply system by the City’s water and sanitation department.
The affected areas include Laudium, Atteridgeville, Kosmosdal, Mnandi and Olievenhoutsbosch.
Saulsville community leader Emmanuel Njaro said: “This situation is not yet so bad because even though there are water tankers, a lot of the people here in Atteridgeville and Saulsville have water.
“We do, however, hope things become better because we do not want another situation like we had a few months ago, where most areas in the north and west did not have water for a week.”
Nel said: “Reservoirs that supply the areas are critically low and some areas currently have no water.
“It is important to understand that Rand Water is a separate entity from the City of Tshwane and is a state-owned entity that is overseen by the National Department of Water and Sanitation. It does not fall under the City of Tshwane.”
He said the City’s leadership approached Rand Water to provide sufficient supply to stabilise its network, but the bulk water utility stated it was unable to do so.
Nel said, simply put, the supply from Rand Water was inadequate to refill the reservoirs.
“If this continues, our reservoirs will run dry. We will continue to engage with Rand Water, but until and unless something changes in their ability to supply water, all of Tshwane needs to work together to save water so the existing supply can cover all our residents.
“For that reason, we will be urgently co-ordinating a strategy session to determine the best way to reduce water consumption across the affected areas,” Nel said.
“We need to make sure that we all use less water so that no area goes without due to insufficient supply. We will also continue prioritising the repair and maintenance of our aged water network.
“The current administration has made repair, maintenance and upgrading of the water and electricity networks a priority as years of neglect have left the system in a poor state.”
However, Nel said this would take time and resources. In the interim, water tankers were dispatched by the City to the affected communities as it urgently works to restore supply.
“Please may I ask not just residents in the affected area, but all residents of Tshwane to make a conscious effort to save water where possible.
“Take a shower instead of a bath. Don’t fill your swimming pool and limit the watering of gardens. We all need to pull together to help those areas that are vulnerable,” Nel added.