While the government has appealed to all the South Africans to save water due to drought conditions in the country, the City of Johannesburg has apparently lost a considerable quantity of this precious resource in the past 24 hours due to what appeared to be to a pipe burst.
The burst occurred on the corner of Wolmarans and Edith Carvell streets in the city this week.
The Citizen first spotted the burst on Tuesday morning, and water was still leaking profusely on Wednesday morning. While it was not immediately clear what caused the burst, people who work in the vicinity of the scene said they suspected road construction works taking place on the side of Wolmarans Street.
“This pipe is supposed to have been repaired by now. It is not good to see such a waste of water while we are worried about the heatwave and drought,” said one man who walked past the scene.
A few construction workers who were present declined to comment when asked what caused the burst.
On November 1, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said drought conditions were being experienced throughout the country due to lower-than-normal rainfall since the beginning of this year. She said Rand Water had informed the three metros in Gauteng, City of Johannesburg, City of Ekurhuleni and the City of Tshwane, of the low levels in water reservoirs due to very high temperature and no or low rainfall.
“Water saving measures must be encouraged among consumers to promote efficient water use in our communities,” said Mokonyane.
Water in the city started going to waste less than a week after some Bedfordview residents on the East Rand faced dry taps believed to have been caused by water shortages in the Signal Hill and Malvern East reservoirs. This was despite the assurances made by Mokonyane that Gauteng faced no imminent risk of water shortages.
Spokesperson for Johannesburg Water David Sibiya said: “I am not aware of the problem but I will take it up with the regional manager as you have brought it to our attention.”