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Gauteng water crisis causes outrage

Residents are lashing out at the City of Johannesburg and Rand Water as the water crisis continues.

Gauteng residents are lashing out at the City of Johannesburg and Rand Water as the water crisis continues. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Frustrated Gauteng residents have lashed out at city officials and Rand Water amid ongoing promises about when the water crisis will be resolved.

Large parts of Ekurhuleni, Midrand and the West Rand have been without water since last week.

The outage was reportedly caused by a power cut at a main pumping station in Eikenhof.

But Rand Water's Justice Mohale says there has been some progress.

"We're seeing a steady increase in our reservoir water levels. This means the pressure is gradually building which means some areas will start getting water soon."

RESIDENTS NOT 'HOLDING THEIR BREATHS'

The water crisis which has left several parts of Johannesburg without supply has now spread to Tshwane, with the capital city dispatching about 17 tankers to affected areas.

Patience is wearing thin among Gauteng residents, with the crisis showing no signs of abating.

Amid ongoing promises that water supply will be restored to affected suburbs, frustrated residents say they're optimistic, but aren't holding their breaths.

An East Rand resident says she's fed up with the utility's empty promises.

"We've been told it will maybe be one, two or even three days till water is back, but here we are two weeks later and still nothing."

The outage has been dubbed "the perfect storm" as power failures and warmer weather have led to reservoirs drying up.

Homes, businesses and hospitals have been affected.

Mohale has urged residents to be patient as reservoirs are taking time to fill up due to increased demand.

COMMUNICATION ISSUES

But Gauteng residents have lashed out at the City of Johannesburg and Rand Water for failing to provide adequate details around the crisis or when it will end.

As officials work to restore supply, more suburbs in northern Johannesburg are also running dry.

Johannesburg Water says this is due to a damaged pipe in Sandton.

Affected areas include Sandown and Sunninghill.

Johannesburg Water's Millicent Kabwe says technicians are on site.

"At this stage we don't know which contractor it is, but it's not a Johannesburg Water contractor who damaged our diameter part of the line and therefore we had to switch off the water to repair that pipe."

On Tuesday, Rand Water told Eyewitness News it will put contingency plans in place, such as having its own electricity supply system, to ensure that a future water crisis is avoided.