South Africa: Limpopo, Eastern Cape Residents Urged to Use Water Sparingly

Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has called on Limpopo and Eastern Cape residents to reduce water use after their dam levels dropped to an alarming 52% this week.

The latest weekly report on dam levels shows that dam levels across the country are dropping at an average of 1% week-on-week.

"Sustained heavy summer rains across South Africa are the only hope to alleviate the situation. In the absence of rain, water conservation across the board must be intensified to avoid municipalities imposing stringent water restrictions," Sisulu said.

Recent high temperatures in most parts of the country are believed to have had a negative impact on the country's dam levels, which have since dropped from 65.7% last week to 64.8% this week.

Sisulu noted that the encouraging news are that there is 20 752.8 cubic metres of water in storage facilities to sustain South Africa until the next rains that will usher in the wet season, with the coastal belts of KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Western Cape receiving heavy rains this week.

The Minister has also appealed to Gauteng residents, including the business community, to use water sparingly during the two-month maintenance of the tunnel system of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP), which started on Tuesday.

She has directed the Acting Director-General for Water and Sanitation, Mbulelo Tshangana, and the CEOs of all affected water boards to ensure that maintenance is done within the timeframe and for all the affected stakeholders to be kept informed of all the developments.

The Minister has further emphasised the importance of every citizen participating in water conservation to save the little water at the country's disposal.

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