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'Restoring Gauteng's water supply could take 3 days'

Rand Water has once again blamed Eskom for its supply problems.

FILE: Rand Water says it will still take more time for reservoirs in and around Johannesburg to fill up. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - With the water crisis in Gauteng now entering its second week, Rand Water appears to be no closer to resolving the problem with hospitals and schools battling to cope.

Rand Water explained last week that a power outage at a main reservoir contributed to parts of Ekurhuleni running dry, but the problem appears to be more widespread with areas in southern and northern Johannesburg as well as Pretoria affected.

Rand Water has once again blamed Eskom for its supply problems and has warned it could take up to 48 hours for supply to be fully restored to affected areas.

The utility has blamed the crisis on a power outage at its Eikenhof pumping station.

Rand Water's Sipho Mosai said, "Power is back but it doesn't mean everybody will have water because it takes time for the reservoirs to fill up."

Hospitals and schools have been drastically affected.

Professor Ashraf Coovadia from the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital says the facility has been severely affected.

"We've been experiencing problems since last week. We do have reservoirs but they can't function for more than 24 hours."

A teacher says the situation at a Sophiatown school is desperate.

"We haven't had water since Saturday and I've been talking to the maintenance manager all day because we're trying to keep the toilets flushing."

Residents have called for water tankers to be sent to their areas.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance's Leon Basson has called on Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane to urgently investigate the problem.