National 12.8.2016 03:15 pm

Water shortages on the cards for Lowveld if it doesn’t rain

Picture: Thinkstock

Picture: Thinkstock

Residents of certain areas in Sabie have been without proper water supply for more than eight weeks.

The dry Lowveld is not considered to be facing a disastrous water shortage at present, but if it does not rain soon, the area may run dry, reports Lowvelder.

“Despite the drought, the Lowveld is not considered as being in a dire situation regarding water at this stage,” said department of water and sanitation head Masala Mulaudzi this week.

“But if it does not rain before November, the situation can change.”

The department supplies bulk water to the various municipalities in the province. “Our dam levels are still at acceptable levels and we have enough water supply going through to the various municipalities at this stage,” he said.

He said recent water-supply problems in Sabie did not originate with his department. “We only supply the water to the municipality. From there on it is their job to get it to the public.”

Residents of certain areas in Sabie have been without proper water supply for more than eight weeks. One resident said the water supply ended in the morning, and at night there was only a trickle coming out of the taps.

“It has been a constant struggle just to practice basic hygiene. I even use my swimming pool water to flush the toilet with,” she said.

Sabie Chamber of Commerce and Tourism chairperson Captain Gwilym Rees said the water situation had affected Mount Anderson and Cycad streets, the central town and Memezile Secondary School, where there was no water. Rees also added he had little faith the situation would be resolved quickly.

Thaba Chweu Local Municipality’s communications and marketing manager, Puleng Mapheto, confirmed that they were aware of the situation. He said it was caused by illegal electricity connections to the water pump and the vandalism thereof. “The process of appointing a security company is at an advanced stage. We want to fix problems permanently,” he said.

“We urge community members to refrain from connecting electricity illegally as this activity causes other members to suffer the consequences of illegal acts.”

Mapheto said in the meantime, the municipality would provide residences with water through a municipal water tanker. “We envisage that it will take a few days to restore water in all affected areas.”

He concluded by urging the Sabie community to use water sparingly, as the country was experiencing a drought.

Mulaudzi also urged the public to abide by water restrictions, as the country was still in a drought situation and the problem could take a turn for the worst.

Caxton News Service

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