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WC govt says water restrictions are looming

Environmental Affairs MEC Anton Bredell says the capacity of the province's dams is extremely low.

Forecasters say significant rainfall is only expected in March next year. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape's Environmental Affairs Department says water restrictions are on the horizon for urban areas in the province.

Johannesburg residents are already bearing the brunt of the current water crisis which has been brought on mainly by an El Niño weather system.

Water restrictions have been implemented in the area.

Several provinces have already been declared disaster areas due to the water shortages they're experiencing including KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape.

Environmental Affairs MEC Anton Bredell says the capacity of the province's dams is extremely low.

"It's important to get the right communication out to the people to realise that we're in a dry season; the dams aren't full and we will in time the restrict water and people will tell you to increase the price but the problem is the source."

Bredell says the current water crisis will make the upcoming fire season an especially difficult one.

At the same time, KwaZulu-Natal leaders say they are mobilising to different communities to encourage controlled use of accessible water.

The province's sugar cane region has been worst affected with some mills forced to shut down.

Forecasters say significant rainfall is only expected in March next year.

The province's officials say water restrictions have yielded some positive results.

Cooperative governance and traditional affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube said, "Almost all of our districts have been affected by the drought and many of our rivers have dried completely."