The department of water and sanitation (DWS) released their weekly report stating that South Africa’s water situation is stable despite the lack of rain for the past seven days in the key parts of the country.
The report highlights that the damn levels went up to 61.9% this week compared to the 61.2% from the previous week even though the country’s water levels have declined by 0.7% when compared to the same period last year which was at 62.6%.
According to the report, the water that is stored in reservoirs stood at 19,826 cubic metres which is more than half the full capacity of the country’s reservoirs (32,012.2 cubic metres).
The water levels in eight provinces, excluding Western Cape:
- Dam levels in the drought-stricken Eastern Cape have improved drastically to 49.1% this week compared to the 47.3% the previous week and during the same period last year, the provincial water storage was at 56.3%.
- Gauteng maintained a stable water level at 103.2% from 101% with the Vaal dam decreasing to 56.7% from 76.3%.
- The Free State, which hosts some of the biggest dams in the country, remains stable at 68.8% from 68.6% in the past week. Gariep Dam, the biggest and deepest reservoir in the country, increased by 2% to 70.6% to 69.2%, while Vanderkloof decreased by a 1% to 60.3% from 61.2% last week.
- Mpumalanga’s dam levels increased to this week at 74.7% from 73.7%. Witbank and Middelberg dams on the Highveld recorded 95.8% and 97.5% respectively, while Loskop and Tonteldoos dams maintain a stable level of 100% each. However, Rhenosterkop that receives its water from Elands River, is virtually dry at 1,9%.
- Limpopo dams have increased to 60.6% in comparison to the 50% reached last year in November.
- Northern Cape dams levels increased to 76.4% this week from 72.7%.
- North West dams have increased to 66.8% this week in comparison to two months which was below 50%. The province has also increased the volume of water that is stored in its reservoirs to 597.3 cubic metres. Boskop Dam increased to 87% this week from 84.7%, while levels of the Johan Neser decreased to 97% from 101.7% compared last week.
- KwaZulu-Natal recorded a 1% increase to 57.6% this week from 56.5%. However, Umfolozi River in Umkhanyakude region is running low at 43%, leaving the area with little water for basic use.
In addition to the report, the parliament’s portfolio committee on human settlements, water and sanitation will visit Giyani and Polokwane in Limpopo for two days next week to assess the efficacy of water and sanitation infrastructure and human settlement development projects.
Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu met with officials of the Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality announcing that R220 million that would be ring-fenced to solve the water crisis in QwaQwa.
She also said that R280 million would be allocated to Sedibeng Water for intervention as the department’s implementing agent. In addition, 5,000 Jojo tanks will be provided to address issues of water harvesting in each household.