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Lack of contingency plans in Gauteng exacerbates water crisis

The lack of sustainable contingency plans by local management and Rand Water is the main reason why certain parts of Gauteng are experiencing water shortages, after repairs to water networks were finalised.

It is indicative of the Gauteng government’s approach of crisis management whereby it addresses problems on an ad hoc basis, while failing to take the consequences into account.

The 58-hour planned maintenance to the Eikenhof pump station, which commenced on Tuesday evening the 11th of July and would have been finalised on Friday morning, still caught Krugersdorp residents off guard. On Friday, residents were informed that the municipal water supply system had run totally dry, and that water storage dams and reservoirs were empty.

As a result, water trucks could not be filled up.

Another cause of frustration is that water trucks were only dispatched to certain collecting points later in the day. No information was communicated to councillors in advance and residents had to scramble to buy water.

Residents contacted councillors and arrangements were made so that the water trucks that still had water available could supply it to old age homes, clinics, preschools and daycare centres.

Such poor planning and management of essential resources, particularly when it comes to providing services crucial for survival, like water, must not be tolerated on local level.

The FF Plus has already asked the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Mzi Khumalo, to help resolve the water crisis in Gauteng by sending water trucks from elsewhere in the province to those towns where there are currently no water trucks available.

It is unacceptable that people do not have access to water, and that inadequate provision was made to ensure alternative water supply. Gauteng residents deserve better.

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