New Johannesburg water restrictions can be avoided in future by declaring substations, water reservoirs and towers as national key points

The City of Johannesburg’s bulk water supplier, Rand Water has today issued a notice of 20% water restrictions to Gauteng municipalities. This is due to the water demand consistently exceeding the water supply, while Rand Water has also experienced a power supply issue at their Zuikerbosh purification works yesterday, which has negatively impacted their Palmiet pumping system that feeds their Meyers Hill reservoir which supplies the South Hills tower.

The residents of Johannesburg have been constantly experiencing low to no water supply for days on end. This is on top of ageing substations that break down due to frequent loadshedding, causing further unplanned outages for residents.

There is a simple solution to this dilemma that can prevent such water shortages or unplanned outages in the future. National government must immediately declare all electrical substations, water reservoirs and towers as national key points. This would in effect, protect these critical infrastructure assets from Eskom-sponsored rolling blackouts, and further ensure a stable water supply during loadshedding and after loadshedding, while also protecting ageing substations from surges that cause their breakdowns.

My colleague in the Gauteng Legislature, Nico De Jager MPL, will continue pushing provincial government to engage with their national counter parts to action these solutions so that the City of Johannesburg can gain some sense of basic service delivery stability again.

The residents of Johannesburg need immediate action to prevent these two critical basic services from being hampered any further.