Alarming Report Reveals Troubling Water Quality, Raises Health Concerns
TimesLive reports that more than half of South Africa's drinking water does not meet chemical water quality standards, according to preliminary reports presented by the Department of Water & Sanitation. The reports (the Green, Blue, and No Drop Watch Reports) assess the quality of drinking water and wastewater systems. The Blue Drop Watch Report revealed that only 17% of water systems achieved an "excellent status" in terms of chemical compliance with national standards. Furthermore, 11 municipalities failed to report water quality data or provide evidence of testing, resulting in non-compliance notices and advisory warnings to residents about the safety of their water. The Western Cape had the highest water quality, while Tshwane, which experienced a cholera outbreak, fell short of the required standards for chemical compliance. The Green Drop Watch Report highlighted the need for corrective action plans to address wastewater system issues, with many municipalities failing to submit or implement such plans. Some municipalities have faced criminal charges for their non-compliance.
Mixed Reactions as South Africa Narrowly Avoids Recession
There has been mixed reaction to the economy expanding by 0.4% in the first quarter of this year, reports EWN. According to the latest data from Stats SA, the economy rebounded to pre-Covid levels despite aggressive power cuts and rising inflation. The growth was primarily driven by the manufacturing and finance sectors, while agriculture faced difficulties. The economy has experienced volatility in recent months, with ongoing power outages negatively impacting energy-intensive industries. According to Stats SA's Risenga Maluleke, two sectors - agriculture and utilities (electricity, gas, and water) - registered negative growth. Although the country narrowly avoided a recession, Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni considered the economic growth as progress in line with the economic reconstruction and recovery plan.
Ramaphosa to Reveal Outcome of BRICS Summit Decision in Due Course
President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that he will announce his decision on whether Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the BRICS summit, reports eNCA. Ramaphosa says he is still deliberating on the matter. The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin, accusing him of war crimes in Ukraine. Ramaphosa acknowledged this warrant and explained that South Africa, as the host of the summit, needs to discuss the issue and establish a clear position.