Water Supply Restored in Gauteng and North West After Forest Fire

Water Supply in Gauteng and North West Restored After Forest Fire (News Central TV)

Water supply was severely disrupted in many areas of Gauteng on Monday after a power outage at an Eskom sub-station that resulted in a 60% production loss at its Zuikerbosch treatment works.

Rand Water spokesperson Justice Mohale said supply had been restored to parts of North West and Gauteng.

“We are back at full capacity. Water supply has been restored to affected areas, we have been pumping at full capacity since the early hours of this morning.”

Zuikerbosch water treatment works had been severely impacted by a power supply interruption at Eskom’s Snowden high voltage substation after a bush fire.

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On 26 January 2020, Christine, 7, collects water from a recently rehabilitated water point in Gwembe Valley, Zambia. Severe and prolonged drought in the region have contributed to depleted water points, crop failure, food insecurity and malnutrition, impacting the health of mothers and children. To date, under the Zambian Government’s drought response plan, UNICEF has supported the rehabilitation of a dozen existing boreholes in Gwembe District. In total, UNICEF will drill 100 new boreholes and rehabilitate 150 non-functional boreholes in six drought-affected districts in Zambia.

Rand Water said the power loss affected four of its major systems – Eikenhof, Mapleton, Zwartkopjes and Palmiet. The water utility warned that the metros of Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Johannesburg, and Mogale City, Rustenburg and West Rand local municipalities would be affected.

The water disruptions came as the country is trying to recover from Covid-19, which resulted in 7% economy contraction in 2020 and led to a loss of about 1.4-million jobs.

Rand Water is crucial to the economy as it supplies the province’s metros of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and the capital city Tshwane, local municipalities, mines, and other industries, as well as parts of Mpumalanga, the North West and the Free State with an average of 3.65-million litres of potable water daily.

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Water and sanitation department spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said in terms of operations, “Rand Water is still operating optimally”. Regarding water outages, he said the water utility was working with municipalities to reduce consumption because “there is overconsumption at the moment, that is putting a stress on the system”.

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