Mashatile looks for solution for “impending” Rand Water crisis

  • Deputy President Paul Mashatile says he is working with Rand Water to find solutions for what he says is an impending water shortage across parts of South Africa.
  • Earlier this year Mashatile launched a “service delivery war room” to begin addressing systemic water and power shortages.
  • In March, widespread areas in Johannesburg were without water for weeks.

The Deputy President of South Africa, Paul Mashatile, has been working with Rand Water in order to find solutions to what he calls “an impending water shortage crisis” that will affect many municipalities across the country.

He made the announcement about two weeks shy of the most hotly contested elections in South Africa since 1994.

“In our efforts to avert a water crisis in Gauteng province and other municipalities around the nation, we must have strategic engagements and collaboration with the Rand Water leadership to urgently find solutions to this pressing issue,” he said on Wednesday.

Rand Water, which distributes clean potable water to more than 11 million people in Gauteng, parts of Mpumalanga, Free State and the North West, is one of the largest bulk water utilities in the world, and the single largest in Africa.

Mashatile says he is now actively engaging with the utility’s leadership, and asking them about what plans they have in place to ensure the continued supply of water to these areas, including South Africa’s largest metropolitan region.

“I am eager to collaborate closely with the Rand Water leadership to identify a preventative measure against the impending water scarcity crisis,” he added.

The comments from the Deputy President follows the establishment of a “war room” that the government hastily rolled out to combat systemic water and power shortages due to widespread infrastructure failings across the country.

Interventions are now being planned to support this objective, including the creation of a “Results Management Office” and the introduction of reforms in the way municipalities grant funding for repairs and refurbishment of infrastructure, as well as the employment of more technical professionals across South Africa’s metros.

In March, residents in widespread areas across Johannesburg were without water sporadically for several weeks due to a chain of issues stemming from a single City Power electricity distributor that affecting a number of water pumping stations.

This was in the midst of a heatwave, to make matters worse.

[Source – SA News]

[Image – CC BY-ND 2.0 Government ZA on Flickr]


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