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South Africa’s water woes worsen as dam levels keep dropping

File Picture: Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA)

File Picture: Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA)

Published Sep 29, 2020


The country’s water woes appear to be getting worse with two municipalities unable to supply water to residents.

Polokwane in Limpopo and Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape have had to depend on water tanks to supply residents with water.

Nelson Mandela Bay residents have, from the beginning of the month, been experiencing day zero. Some of the affected areas include Uitenhage and Port Elizabeth.

In Polokwane, the Ebenezer Dam in Groot Letaba fell to 12.4% last week. This has left residents without water and depending on water tanks placed around the town.

It seems that it will get even worse for Limpopo residents.

The Department of Water and Sanitation said on Monday that dam levels in the province were continuing to drop.

The Tzaneen Dam, which supplies water for farmers for irrigation in the area, remained at its lowest level - at 10.5%.

“The Department of Water and Sanitation calls on farmers to be cautious when using water as the dam is not improving and the farmers’ produce will be affected if the dam runs dry,” said spokesperson Sputnik Ratau.

But the worst-performing dams in the province are the Glen Alpine Dam in Mokgalakwena and Doorndraai Dam in Sterk River, which both sit at 9.4% and the Middle Letaba Dam which is at 1.3%.

Ratau said the hot weather conditions in Limpopo has added to declining water levels.

“Water supply shortage remains a challenge in Limpopo, despite the efforts by the department to augment the available water with water storage tanks and tankers, especially since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The department is also on course with the implementation of long-term measures to bring relief to communities across the province.

“This includes the upgrade of water infrastructure such as the Flag Boshielo Water Treatment Works. This is to increase its capacity of 12megalitres a day to 20megalitres a day, supplying water to 156 villages within the Ephraim Mogale, Elias Motsoaledi and Makhuduthamaga local municipalities.”

The Flag Boshielo Water Treatment Works is expected to be completed by October 31.

The Star

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