South Africa: Johannesburg Faces Water Crisis as Infrastructure Crumbles - South African News Briefs - April 17, 2024

People gaher at communal tap for drinking water in Soweto, Johannesburg (file photo).
17 April 2024


Johannesburg Faces Water and Sanitation Crisis as Infrastructure Collapse Looms

Johannesburg is facing a severe crisis as its water and sanitation infrastructure is on the brink of collapse,  reports Sipho Masondo in an exclusive News24 report. The city is experiencing major budget constraints, with a lack of R64 billion needed to replace and refurbish the failing infrastructure. This situation is stunting economic growth and development, with water officials and economists cautioning that the lack of funds to renew the grid will lead to infrastructure failure and significant financial losses for businesses and residents. Johannesburg Water's business plan for 2023/24 reveals an infrastructure backlog of R24 billion, indicating the extent of the crisis. The city has been unable to meet the required 1.5% renewal rate of assets due to funding limitations, leading to an alarming 59% loss in infrastructure value. The situation has been exacerbated by mismanagement and the diversion of funds to areas not related to infrastructure renewal. Immediate intervention and external assistance are needed to avoid further deterioration and potential collapse.

Pongola Truck Driver on Trial for Deadly Crash

The trial of Sibusiso Siyaya, the truck driver accused in the deadly Pongola crash that killed 20 people, including 18 children and 2 adults, has begun in the Pongola High Court, reports IOL. The trial is now on its third day, with State Advocate Krishen Shah leading the evidence of the third witness. Siyaya faces charges of culpable homicide, later upgraded to murder, along with reckless and negligent driving and failure to perform the duties of a driver after the accident. The State alleges that Siyaya ignored a mandatory stop for heavy motor vehicles and drove recklessly, overtaking several vehicles over the double barrier center median and onto the oncoming lane. He is represented by Pregasen Marimuthu from Legal Aid South Africa and an acting judge. The trial will continue for several weeks with 42 witnesses expected to testify.

Cape Winelands Firefighters Battle Blaze Nearing Huguenot Tunnel

Firefighters in the Cape Winelands are battling a wildfire burning out of control near Du Toit's Kloof, reports News24. The blaze started close to the Du Kloof Lodge and has spread towards the Huguenot Tunnel. While all roads remain open, firefighters urge motorists to drive cautiously, avoid stopping for photos, and follow traffic official instructions. Seven firefighting vehicles, and teams from NCC Wildfires and CapeNature on the ground to contain the fire.

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