Large parts of Eastern Johannesburg have once again been left without any water. This followed a mistake by Joburg Water technicians after cleaning a reservoir.
One of three reservoirs at the Yeoville reservoir set-up was recently cleaned. To do the cleaning, they have to drain the reservoir and stop water from flowing from one reservoir to the other. The reservoirs needed to be closed so that no water could flow in or out. Once the cleaning was done, the reservoir was reopened for water to flow in but not for water to flow out.
This meant that overnight there was no water flowing out of the reservoir while the reservoir was filling up. During this process, the reservoir started overflowing, and millions of litres of clean drinking water was flowing over the walls of the reservoir and into the streets.
This could easily have been prevented with a first-line response team that works overnight. When a problem like this occurs, a team must be immediately available to fix the problem by opening all required valves This did not happen.
Joburg Water must ensure that they get the necessary budget so that there is a first-line of response team available at all times across all regions in Johannesburg that can quickly react to any emergency that may arise.
Through the mechanism in place at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, we will continue to apply pressure on the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu, to ensure part of the R28 billion earmarked for the 12 reservoirs is used to maintain and upgrade the water infrastructure of municipalities.