Water Wednesday: SA needs a strategic water plan to curb water crisis

Three provinces are currently highly affected by the water crisis, The Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. These provinces house some of South Africa’s biggest economic and agricultural hubs.

Blazer attributes the current crisis to four factors:

  • Insufficient water infrastructure maintenance and investment,
  • Recurrent droughts driven by climatic variation
  • Deteriorating water quality
  • A lack of skilled water engineers

He also noted that 35% of South African citizens did not have access to reliable drinking water and that 14.1 million people did not have access to safe sanitation, while 41% of municipal water did not generate revenue.

“South Africa is facing a projected 17% water deficit by 2030 if it doesn’t adopt a ‘new normal. Achieving water security in the country requires a significant paradigm shift that recognises the limitations of water availability and the need for financial sustainability,” he said at the Indaba.

The Department of Water and Sanitation has adopted a Strategic Plan which aims to be implemented over a period of five years as part of the National Development Plan (2030).

The department has also welcomed a new Minister Gugile Mkwinti, who was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his cabinet reshuffle.

Here is your weekly dam update:

  • The Vaal River System consisting of 14 dams serving mainly Gauteng Sasol and Eskom is at 92.8%.
  • The Cape Town Dams System consisting of six dams serving mainly City of Cape Town this week drops to 20%.
  • The KwaZulu Natal Dam System is at 59% this week while Eastern Cape Dam System sits at 64.4%.


Here are the latest dam percentages throughout the country:

For a more in depth rainfall update, visit WeatherSA or click here. For more information on the water storage levels across the country, visit the DWS site. For a comprehensive drought status report from the Department of Water and Sanitation, click here.


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