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Water crisis: Water supply to be rationed

Rand Water will begin rechannelling its water supply from non-affected areas to those that are affected.

FILE: Rand Water will begin re-channeling its water supply from non-affected areas to those that are affected. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Rand Water has decided to ration its supply in a desperate attempt to restore water services in areas affected by ongoing interruptions.

Power cuts caused by cable theft have been blamed for pumps failing at reservoirs.

With some areas having gone 10 days without water, Gauteng residents have described the situation as ridiculous and are demanding urgent answers.

The utility says valves will be closed in areas which have had water to accommodate areas where taps have already run dry.

Rand Water's Justice Mohale says there no guarantees.

"The decision has been taken to close valves of certain reservoirs to rechannel water to affected areas."

Some of the affected areas include suburbs in the East Rand, West Rand and large parts of Pretoria.

Meanwhile, Water Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has summoned Rand Waters's board members and senior officials for a full status quo report on the crisis which has crippled Gauteng.

The water problems are also leading to questions about whether its various entities are being properly co-ordinated.

Municipal IQ managing director Kevin Allan says these issues need to be discussed.

"Is it worth having an entity which is an independent and somewhat privatised organisation running first delivery, or should the mayor and city take full responsibility?"

PREMIER TO TACKLE CRISIS

Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Thursday said he would be meeting with mayors from municipalities across the province on Friday.

During today's meeting, Makhura will discuss the state of infrastructure, service delivery and the unfolding water crisis.

The premier says he's deeply concerned about the ongoing water cuts and has tasked his officials with finding out what the real cause of the crisis is.

Makhura says along with the discussion on infrastructure investment, an urgent report on the water situation will be tabled.

"I have asked for an urgent report on the water situation in the province, including what the real problem is."

He says he hopes to have all the details and intends to arrange a meeting with the minister of water and sanitation.

There have been contradicting reports on when the supply will be fully restored.

Tankers have been dispatched to areas where taps are still dry.

LACK OF INFORMATION

Frustrated and desperate Gauteng residents have, meanwhile, lashed out at Rand Water for the lack of information.

Some locals even described the situation as "absolutely ridiculous".

Mohale says residents are using up supply as soon as it becomes available.

Residents have been urged not to water their gardens as supply remains very tight.