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Rand Water denies reports its system has crashed – SABC News

Rand Water has denied reports that its system has collapsed and says it has been supplying Gauteng municipalities with sufficient water. Supplier Bulk briefed the media on Friday in Glenvista, south of Johannesburg, about the province’s water problems.

Rand Water says it gets its water mainly from the Vaal River, which has filtered through a series of channels from the mountains of Lesotho. Its responsibility is to ensure its treated and supply bulk water mainly to Gauteng and surrounding provinces.

With all the water restrictions in recent days and disheartened residents, Rand Water CEO Thabo Mosai insists there has been no water disaster on their end as they are giving municipalities enough water by pumping at maximum capacity.

“We are pumping at max. there are no indications that we are moving towards day zero. Without any indication from our side, we are pumping at maximum capacity, 5000 ml of water per day for 17/18 million people. The reservoirs are rising, the dams are full. The word day zero doesn’t even exist in our dictionary. We’re meeting the peak demands, we’re getting more water into the system, and we need to make sure that we need to adjust some water management practices, we need to help those in high-lying areas.”

Somehow the water is not reaching parts of Johannesburg residents.

Turning on the tap for clean running water is something these residents of Coronation haven’t been privileged with for some time. This resident says they haven’t had running water for months.

“It’s been 4 months already. It came out in Corey, two weeks before other places. It’s very frustrating, I won’t lie and I was paying R2200 rent every month and the water would go on and off. It is very difficult, there is a friend of mine in Nuclar and they have water so I have to walk down to get water. It is very difficult; I am so disappointed that I want to move on from Corey. I don’t understand what’s so difficult.”

In neighboring Crosby, there are similar disappointments. “It was here in Crosby, no water, next to the coronation second center. We are not coping and school started letting out at 11 o’clock.”

While pumping at maximum capacity in reservoirs, Rand Water’s Sipho Mosai says water consumption continues to be high. He says Tshwane and Ekurhuleni remain stable but Johannesburg remains a challenge, particularly the Commando tank.

“We have been pumping more at Eikenhof since last week. Our tanks are going up, their tanks are going up. So I was a bit surprised that there were areas without water. So we are working with Joburg Water to see what we can use on our end to see if we can load a shift. It may be the levels, but on our side the reservoirs are filling up.”

Johannesburg Water says water storage is inconsistent, particularly for the Commando system. Mosai also cited power outages as a major problem at their water treatment facilities.

“We have quite a few power outages in our treatment works. We have been exempted from load sharing so we are not getting good power quality. So if we have a power cut, they really have an impact because from Vereeniging we pump to Eikenhof. Eikenhof supplies Joburg water. So we have a power outage, which means Eikenhof is going to struggle. We have a lot of peak demand and when the reservoirs are low, the reservoirs keep water at 80/90% to cushion us.”

Meanwhile, he urged all residents to use water sparingly and practice prudent water conservation methods to avoid water restrictions.

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