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'SA is a water-scarce country'

Amid warnings of possible water shedding, the Water & Sanitation Dept says water is scarce in some areas.

Picture: freeimages.com.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa is a water scarce country. In fact, it is the 30th driest country in the world.

Last week, there were fresh warnings about the possibility of nationwide water shedding caused by infrastructure neglect and the natural resources available in South Africa.

Two civil engineers from consulting firm Gibb spoke about the water problems facing the country and offered some solutions; these included new public-private partnerships, more awareness about water conservation and new ideas about the way water is cleaned and used.

LISTEN: A 702 caller says that where his parents live in Mpumalanga there's no water supply (30 years on).

Water Affairs and Sanitation Department spokesperson Mlimandlela Ndamase this morning said water in South Africa was a scarcity but that the country wasn't in crisis mode yet.

"I don't think we've reached those stages yet, but the reality is that South Africa is the 30th driest country in the world. We are currently having water shortages in certain areas."

He said, "It's time that we start seeing how we can recycle water and how we can use it differently."

LISTEN: There are water issues in St Lucia, in KwaZulu-Natal. A caller speaks to 702's John Robbie.

Ndamase said people needed to start finding new and alternative ways of trying to save water.

"The minister has been making it clear that we can't go ahead as if it's business as usual. We are a water-scarce country."

Ndamase said government wasn't planning for water shedding right now.

"What we are saying is that we need to try and find ways of how we can save the water in our country."

LISTEN: Water Affairs and Sanitation Department spokesperson Mlimandlela Ndamase responds to calls about water supply issues.