As if heatwave, load shedding were not enough, Gauteng residents now face water restrictions

Pedestrians protect themselves from the sweltering heat while walking across Francis Baard Street in the Pretoria CBD. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Pedestrians protect themselves from the sweltering heat while walking across Francis Baard Street in the Pretoria CBD. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Oct 5, 2022


Pretoria - The worst of this week’s heatwave in Gauteng was felt yesterday afternoon with temperatures soaring to at least 36°C in Pretoria.

As if that was not enough, residents will also have to face severe water restrictions.

Rand Water notified the City of Tshwane, City of Joburg and City of Ekurhuleni about the implementation of stage 2 water restrictions.

The water utility said it noted over the past two weeks that water consumption increased significantly resulting in a decline of their overall reservoir storage capacity from 52% to 38%.

It necessitated Rand Water to implement, with immediate effect, stage 2 (30%) restrictions on several high consuming customer meters within each municipality, in order to reduce the high water consumption.

Rand Water said the restrictions were to ensure its overall reservoir storage capacity was restored to 60%.

Tshwane said it must comply with Rand Water’s directive by implementing stage 2 water restrictions to prevent the water utility and municipality’s bulk water supply systems from collapsing and running dry.

The Johannesburg Emergency Management Services has meanwhile warned parents and guardians to closely monitor the activities of children, particularly swimming, which can lead to drowning.

“In townships, we have river streams, we have dams. We see when we have extremely hot temperatures like these, young kids might be tempted to go and swim in those areas. In the process, we may have drowning incidents,” spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said, speaking to broadcaster Newzroom Afrika.

While he encouraged kids to visit municipal swimming pools during the holidays, as most of the municipal swimming pools are in operation, and he warned parents to keep a vigilant eye over the youngsters.

According to the SA Weather Service (Saws), the extremely hot temperatures are likely to affect Joburg and Pretoria for the rest of the week.

“A heatwave is expected to continue in Gauteng, the highveld of Mpumalanga, south-western Bushveld, central and eastern North West and northern Free State,” Saws said.

Pretoria reached a high 36°C by yesterday afternoon, while temperatures in Joburg soared up to 34°C.

Mulaudzi said the emergency services were worried about the risk of veld fires breaking out amid the hot and dry conditions. He warned residents who smoke against “throwing their cigarette butts everywhere” because that might start fires.

Residents of Gauteng have been urged to drink plenty of water and avoid excess alcohol in the heat.

There is also advice for residents to limit outdoor activity, take breaks in the shade if working outdoors, avoid exercise during the hottest part of the day and apply sunscreen.

The blistering heat will, however, subside slightly as the week proceeds, with Pretoria and Joburg expected to be a few degrees cooler today.

Temperatures are still expected to remain in the mid 30s for the rest of the week and over the weekend.

Temperatures of about 33°C can be expected in Pretoria today, while the weather service predicted tomorrow and Friday will be a degree warmer.

The weekend will also be warm, with around 31°C expected on Saturday, while Sunday is expected to reach around 33°C.

The City of Tshwane reminded residents that stage 2 water restrictions entailed no irrigation or watering of gardens with a hosepipe or irrigation systems, and no use of a hosepipe to clean driveways or patios.

Pretoria News