South Africa: Department Steps Up Efforts to Relieve Water Shortages in Gauteng

The Department of Water and Sanitation in Gauteng has stepped up efforts to relieve water shortages in desperate Gauteng communities.

The department has delivered 852 water tanks and 20 tankers to water-stressed communities that have the least capacity to avert the rapid spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the province and thus flatten the curve.

The department said it is working collaboratively with Rand Water and municipalities to provide water to desperate communities in the most densely populated informal settlements to reduce the chances of the virus passing from one person to the other.

"Various areas in the province, including Roodepoort, Soweto, and Ennerdale in the City of Johannesburg, Hammanskraal in the City of Tshwane, benefitted from the effort. Other areas that benefitted include municipalities in the West Rand District Municipality, as well as Benoni in the City of Ekurhuleni.

"Roodepoort received 100 water tanks with a capacity of 2500 litres while Soweto got 194x2500 litres and 16x5000 litres capacity tanks. Hammanskraal received assistance with 57 water tanks of which 37 have a capacity of 2500 litres and the rest have a capacity of 5000 litres," the department's Gauteng Provincial Head, Sibusiso Mthembu, said.

In Benoni, 70 water tanks with a capacity of 2500 litres and four water tankers were delivered.

The West Rand District Municipality also recieved 126x5000 litres water tanks together with three water tankers, while the Lesedi Local Municipality got 34x2500 litres water tanks and two water tankers.

The Midvaal Local Municipality was the recipient of 34x2500 litres of water tanks with two water tankers.

A total of 95 water tanks were also delivered in Merafong Local Municipality with 40x10000 litres, 17x2500 litres and 38x 5000 litres.

Thirty three water tankers with 10x10000 and 23x5000 litres were delivered in Mogale City.

Mthembu said that as the country's epicentre of the virus, Gauteng's infection rate was not increasing as steeply since the lockdown, but it was still increasing.

There was therefore a need for everyone to put their shoulder to the wheel to stem the infections.

He said the deployment of water tanks and tankers had increased significantly since Minister Lindiwe Sisulu's announcement to provide water to destitute communities.

Mahlobo visits Vaalkop Water Treatment

Meanwhile, Water and Sanitation Deputy Minister, David Mahlobo, will today visit Vaalkop Water Treatment Works and Madibeng Local Municipality to ensure that the communities are supplied with adequate and quality water.

The visit follows a visit by Human Settlements Deputy Minister, Pam Tshwete, to the same municipality in March.

The department noted that even though Tshwete had instructed Madibeng Local Municipality to develop an action plan that will assist in ensuring that communities are supplied with adequate and quality water, this has not helped, as the challenges besetting the municipality seem not to be reducing.

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