Mchunu calls for 'water shifting' as an interim plan for water outages

27th September 2023

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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As Gauteng continues to grapple with water provision and communities remain left without water, Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu has called for the implementation of “water shifting” as part of the interim plans to address the challenges.

Mchunu has been engaging various communities across Gauteng this week amid water supply challenges and days- to weeks-long water shortages and the subsequent public outcry.

Some parts of Gauteng have experienced acute water interruptions recently owing to different systemic issues.

Following discussions with community members from South Hill in Johannesburg on Tuesday, five key outcomes emerged, namely accountability, water shifting, poor infrastructure, reservoirs and water conservation.

Mchunu, who assured that decisions taken from the engagement were to be implemented as soon as possible, explained that Rand Water would implement “load shifting” from the line that was not too busy and redirect the water to Palmiet until the system recovered and was able to supply high-lying areas.

“We are going to water shift as an interim measure. Technicians will be monitoring the system 24/7 as we shift water from system to system,” he said, warning, however, that water shifting was not a permanent solution.

Further, he requested Rand Water to set a timeline for the provision of the extra 150 mega litres from Station 5A and had ordered the City of Johannesburg to start the process of replacing old leaking pipes to stop the large volume of water being lost owing to leaks.

He also requested that reservoirs be refurbished after community complaints of non-functioning reservoirs.

“I support Joburg Water's initiative to temporarily construct a pump station to assist with the turnaround recovery of water shortages. Joburg Water will share implementation plans and time frames regarding the development of the sump at the South Hills tower,” he added.

He concluded that once water was available, there was a need to conserve it.

Mchunu, his Deputy Ministers David Mahlobo and Judith Tshabalala and representatives from the Department of Water and Sanitation have been conducting site visits across various parts of Gauteng including Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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