Unless we vote right, this is only the beginning of our water problems

South Africans are currently grappling with a number of different water issues. | Pexels

South Africans are currently grappling with a number of different water issues. | Pexels

Published Mar 30, 2024


It is an open secret that Gauteng, the economic hub of the country, has a water problem. The scorching heat is not helping. Water evaporates quickly from the dams. This results in the province having water shortages.

The recent water crisis affected a vast area, including most parts of Johannesburg and the West Rand.

The problem had nothing to do with the weather or Vaal Dam running dry. It also had nothing to do with the ageing infrastructure or a major burst pipe.

The pertinent question is: What caused the water problem in some parts of Gauteng?

We were given different answers. Eikenhof was hit by lightning, we were told. Next we were told that a valve was closed. Does somebody know what’s going on? I don’t think so.

According to experts, this is only the beginning of our water problems. They said it would continue for the next six years or so. It can go on for the next decade or more, who knows?

Our government has proven to be useless in finding solutions to such challenges. Load shedding is a classic example.

Is there a plan to deal with this challenge?

Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu is quiet about the matter. Does Mchunu have a plan to arrest the situation? Is the minister concerned? If he is, he has a funny way of showing it.

Interestingly, political parties have been delivering their election manifestos. None has addressed the water crisis facing this country. Does that mean they are not aware of the problem? Or does that mean they don’t care? Or they deem the challenge as unimportant? There are no easy answers.

There are areas that are constantly without water. One can mention Protea Glen in Soweto, and some parts of Krugersdorp and Randburg. In these areas, residents are forced to buy water from retail shops. Yet their municipal water accounts remain the same.

A water crisis poses a serious health hazard to citizens. It also affects the economy, which contributes to high unemployment. For instance, when there is no water, government departments stop working. Companies that use water for their production can’t produce.

The water crisis confronting the nation does not affect our honourable Cabinet ministers and their families. Until they are affected, these problems won’t go away. Clearly, we are on our own.

Let’s vote right, fellow citizens.

* Thabile Mange, Mogale City.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

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