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    A double whammy for Joburg residents

    February 2, 2023 - Ntombi Nkosi


      Johannesburg - South Africans are dealing with a double blow of a lack of water and electricity since power utility Eskom implemented load shedding stage 5 and 6 this week.

      The utilities urged consumers to use the resources (water and electricity) sparingly, a plea that left many people and businesses frustrated.

      Rand Water said it is battling to maintain supply to certain parts of Johannesburg during the power cuts.

      Johannesburg Water spokesperson Puleng Mopeli says it is making substantial headway towards restoring water supply in areas affected by the power failure on Sunday.

      She said by yesterday morning, the water level of the Rand Water system was at 39%, which is 8% higher than Tuesday.

      Mopeli said Johannesburg South continues to be stable, and technical teams are monitoring the system to ensure this can be sustained.

      She said yesterday morning, the Helen Joseph and Rahima Moosa Mother and Child hospitals had 50% and 65% water levels, respectively.

      “Water flow into the hospitals is constantly being supplemented by regular pumping through water tankers,“ Mopeli said.

      She said the Linden 1 reservoir has seen some improvements, however, the supply pressure is still minimal.

      Mopeli further said that in Roodepoort, the Helderkruin zone is also showing progress, but is affected by the ongoing power outages.

      “Nonetheless, the reservoir is out of critically low levels,“ Mopeli said.

      She said arrangements will be made to move water tankers from areas with a steady water supply to those that are still struggling.

      Some schools in Johannesburg had to send learners home for two days this week due to a lack of water.

      One private school issued a communication saying that it had taken alternative measures to provide water for staff and learners, and they are expected back to school today (Thursday).

      “Just a brief update on the current situation on campus: As of 1.30pm today, we do not yet have running water on campus. However, we are receiving reports from areas around us that water is starting to return. The only official communication we have obtained so far comes from the Johannesburg Water Twitter page, stating that it could take up to 72 hours for the system to return to normal. Three hours ago, the Crown Gardens Reservoir (which feeds our area) was still empty. We will continue to monitor the situation on campus and communicate with you again about plans for Thursday,” said the school.

      A parent told The Star that this water issue is a concern, but was pleased that the school made efforts to get learners to return to school.

      Water expert Professor Anja du Plessis said energy and water have always been intertwined, the same as electricity, water, and food are also intertwined.

      “What we are currently seeing is basically the collapse of infrastructure. I know that both Rand Water and Johannesburg Water are asking consumers to use less; it's the same as Eskom asking people to use less electricity. If we don't have water to use, how can we use less?” Du Plessis stated.

      The Star


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