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Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

Will we have water for Christmas? Rand Water’s plan to keep the taps flowing this festive season

The estimated daily residential water use in South Africa is 237 litres per person per day - 64 litres more than the global average.

Although Rand Water is ready to supply water to municipalities during the festive season, it has called on consumers to use the resource sparingly.

Rand Water spokesperson Makenosi Maroo on Monday said the water utility had recently increased the amount of water it supplies to municipalities from 4,700 megalitres to more than 5,000 megalitres per day.

ALSO READ: Water crisis: Mixed reaction to move not to only rely on Rand Water

Maroo highlighted Ekurhuleni, Tshwane and the Joburg metros as the municipalities with the highest water consumption, calling on municipalities to implement level 1 restrictions to ensure that those in high-lying areas also get water.

The estimated daily residential water use in South Africa is 237 litres per person per day. This is 64 litres more than the global average of 173 litres per person per day.

“We are urging consumers to use water sparingly because the high temperatures are putting a severe strain on the distribution networks,” Maroo told Newzroom Afrika.

ALSO READ: Rand Water can restrict areas using too much water – here’s what happens if they do

While higher stages of load shedding do not affect the utility’s two water treatments plants – Vereeniging and Zuikerbosch – due to the agreement in place, tertiary pump stations, however, are affected.

“We don’t have that agreement with power suppliers, so we do get load shedding. We do have generators in place, but it costs a lot of money and some of the municipalities are not paying Rand Water.”

Rand Water debt

In June, Rand Water revealed that cumulative debt owed by municipalities was just over R4.6 million, shared among municipalities in Gauteng, Mpumalanga, and the Free State.

“Rand Water is facing a significant challenge in relation to outstanding debts owed by various municipalities,” it said.

ALSO READ: Signs of recovery: Reservoirs gradually filling up – Rand Water

“Non-payment of bulk water by municipalities vastly threatens Rand Water’s financial position and is a direct threat to its medium and long-term sustainability, thus, to sustainable provision of bulk water.

“We have relentlessly attempted to resolve and accommodate non-paying municipalities and entered into bilateral engagements and agreements through Intergovernmental Relations forums. However, the situation has not improved, and we have regrettably reached a deadlock.”

The water utility has since pursued legal action against some municipalities, attaching the Emfuleni Local Municipality (ELM) bank accounts on estimated debt of R900 million.

“It must be noted that the sustainable provision of clean and reliable water supply to millions of South Africans hinges on the responsible fulfilment of bulk water purchase agreements.

ALSO READ: Tshwane, Rand Water agree on plan to manage water supply systems

“We, therefore, implore all stakeholders to treat this matter with the utmost urgency.”

Read more on these topics

Rand Water water crisis water cuts

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