Gauteng water crisis enters week 3

While authorities are adamant the province is not facing a water crisis, parts of Gauteng still remain dry.

Water. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - As Gauteng enters its third week of interrupted water supply, Rand Water says it is working on finding long term solutions and prevention strategies.

Residents in parts of Johannesburg, Pretoria, the West Rand and Ekurhuleni have had to deal with sporadic water supply as a result of a power failure at a major pumping station.

With growing frustration among residents, the utility says it is confident that supply will be fully restored within the next two weeks.

Residents say the water interruptions are no longer a mere inconvenience, but are beginning to take an economic toll.

One man says, "I actually booked into a cheap hotel so that my family could go and shower for two or three days."

While one woman says, "We have to take our washing to other places and even for cooking we have to buy water."

Rand Water has thanked Gauteng residents for exercising patience, as officials work to restore full water supply to the region.

In the meantime, it remains to be seen whether this week will yield any relief for communities who are still reliant on water delivered by municipal tankers.

Meanwhile, authorities are adamant that the province is not facing a crisis.

Rand Water has called on all residents, including those unaffected by water cuts, to use water sparingly, as attempts are made to refill reservoirs.

However, affected Gauteng residents say their lives have been disrupted by the abrupt cuts to their water supply.

Rand Water's Justice Mohale says the utility is working closely with Eskom, Johannesburg City Power and others, to find solutions to the problem.

"This is not just Rand Water issues, there are stakeholders and we are working very closely [with them]."

The utility says it now realises the extent to which challenges in the energy sector affect its own operations, even with back-up systems in place.

Gauteng will now establish a coordinating council that will oversee the management, financing and development of the province's social infrastructure.