Water Crisis in Ekurhuleni

Currently, Gauteng, and the rest of the country, is experiencing the worst drought in 23 years.  

This drought has been compounded by poor management by Rand Water and the Ekurhuleni Metro, which has resulted in water shortages in the municipality and many households' taps running dry.   

South Africans have for far too long suffered due to the failure by the ANC government at a national, provincial and local level.  

The current water crisis in the Ekurhuleni municipality could have been avoided. 

When the DA takes over the metro, it will take steps to ensure a secure water supply, even in times of drought by:

  • Ensuring Rand Water’s pump station has an independent power supply so that the station can always pump water;  
  • Ensuring that the Ekurhuleni Metro implements a telemetry (computer) system which will alert them when reservoirs are running low;  
  • Setting up a water-crisis war room to allocate scarce water resources as an immediate priority to avoid water outages; and  
  • Implement a water maintenance plan, to ensure water loss through leaks is mitigated.   

The DA run City of Cape Town loses the least amount of water due to leakages of all metro’s in South Africa with a loss of 16.4% vs a 37.8% loss in the Ekurhuleni metro.  

The DA also has a 10-point plan to fight the water crisis at a national government level:

  • Implement a water pipeline replacement Programme, which is expedited where leakages are worst;  
  • Set up a 24 hour call centre, which dispatches repair teams that will fix burst pipes and leakages around the clock;  
  • Install special pressure-reducing valves at key points in the water network in order to reduce water pressure in designated water zones;  
  • Legislate the use of non-potable water for irrigation in all municipalities in the country;  
  • Install water allocation devices, which ensure that indigent homes use their free allocation;  
  • Make use of existing pipeline camera technology that can detect leaks and faulty water pipes;  
  • Provide better free-allocation of water, to avoid illegal water connections;  
  • Ensure that every municipality sets up a system whereby leaking pipes are completely replaced after a set number of complaints by residents and not simply patched over and over again as well as implement a Gravity Feed water supply, and install generators at water pumps to circumvent load shedding water cuts;  
  • Implement punitive tariffs for businesses that overuse water, after negotiated limits are agreed to; and  
  • Increase mobile water tanker fleets, afforded by immediate cuts in wasteful and fruitless expenditure.  

The DA will be requesting that both Rand Water and Ekurhuleni Metro appear before the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation in order to give deadlines as to when:  

  • Rand Water will install independent power supplies at all of its pump stations;
  • Ekurhuleni Metro will implement the computerised telemetry system;
  • Their action plan to repair water infrastructure as Ekurhuleni is losing 39.8% of all its water; and
  • The reasons why the financial statements submitted to Gauteng Treasury showed that at the end of the 2014/15 financial year in June, the Ekurhuleni Metro had only spent 48% of the R127 million budgeted for waste water management and had failed to spend 46% of the R333 million allocated to water services.

The DA is committed to ensuring that where we govern, all residents have access to water, which is their basic right.   

By voting for the DA in the upcoming local government, residents can bring change to Ekurhuleni. Change that stops corruption and poor management and starts service delivery.     

Mike Waters MP mwaters@democratic-alliance.co.za    Contact the author of the petition