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'Water crisis was a learning curve'

Government has set up a special task team to deal with problems pertaining to water in Gauteng.

Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance, Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements Jacob Mamabolo. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Government says the Gauteng water crisis was a learning curve and is adamant it will be able to deal with another glitch in future.

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has set up a special task team, after admitting it does not have capacity at a local level to deal with problems pertaining to water.

Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance, Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements Jacob Mamabolo on Wednesday visited high risk areas for water cuts to assess the extent of the problem.

The MEC has conceded the three-week water crisis could have been handled more effectively in parts of the province

"Could we have done better? Absolutely, yes. And next time, we'll manage things much better."

Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane announced earlier this week that supply had been fully restored to affected areas, sparking confusion because taps in parts of Diepsloot, Midrand and Ekurhuleni were still dry.

Mamabolo says his department will work with Eskom, Johannesburg City Power and Rand Water to manage supply in the future.

"We have our eyes firmly placed on the state of water supply."

Meanwhile, some residents on the East Rand blocked the Democratic Alliance from bringing water tankers into the area on Wednesday, saying officials should have responded when the problem was first reported.