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By Jarryd Westerdale

Digital Journalist

Rand Water ready to reduce supply to municipalities owing a collective R1.3 billion

Water supplier entitled to implement supply reductions as per their bulk water supply agreements with municipalities

Four municipalities across Gauteng are facing the prospect of a reduction in their supply.

Rand Water has issued notices to the municipalities and residents, signalling the water supplier’s intent to limit supply.

The four delinquent municipalities are the Lesedi, Merafong City, Ngwathe and Victor Khanye local municipalities.

Lesedi and Ngwathe owe Rand Water R65.5 million and R72.5 million, respectively, while Victor Khanye owes the entity a massive R386.9 million.

Merafong City, west of Johannesburg, have the largest outstanding account, owing Rand Water R838.2 million.

ALSO READ: Rand Water’s hardline: Utility reduces flow to defaulting municipalities

Part of the municipality’s bulk water supply agreement allows Rand Water to limit portable water services in the event of non-payment.

Rand Water intends to cut the supply by 20% within 30 days of the notice, which was issued on Monday.

“This reduction does not completely terminate water supply services but only limits the bulk water supply. Rand Water justly believes that the municipalities will still be able to maintain a continuous supply of water services to its residents,” stated Rand Water’s notice.

The water supplier stated that they will strive to ensure a minimal impact on vulnerable users, such as schools, old age homes and hospitals.  

Lesotho Highlands Water Project shutdown looming

Gauteng and the Free State’s link to the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) will be severed for six months come October.

Maintenance will be conducted on 37km of the LHWP, leaving the provinces needing to use the water stored in dams sparingly.

ALSO READ: Water scarcity concerns eased amid Lesotho water project maintenance

In an attempt to ensure adequate supply, additional water will be pumped into the dams before the shutdown, as per the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS).

Sterkfontein Dam and the Vaal Dam are primary sources of water for Gauteng, with each having a full storage capacity of just over 2.6 billion cubic meters of water.

As of May 20, DWS lists levels at Sterkfontien Dam at 99.5% capacity with the Vaal at Dam at 58.3%.

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Free State Gauteng Lesotho Maintenance Rand Water