Reckless water use compounds dry conditions in parts of SA

A drought is gripping some areas with regions in KZN already declared disaster zones.

FILE. A drought is gripping some areas with regions in KZN  already declared disaster zones. Picture:

JOHANNESBURG - Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says South Africa's poor water use habits are finally showing their effects.

She says the country is facing a crisis by virtue of the fact that it is a water-scarce land.

Over R300 million has been set aside for the implementation of relief strategies.

The minister says South Africans can't afford to continue being reckless with water consumption.

"We, over years, have acted in a manner that did not appreciate. So, a behavioural change amongst all of us is quite important."

She says government will explore all possible areas to see the country through.

"We will have to have prayer services, and if there is a belief that they can do something, those that are involved in traditional healing."

Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State have been declared disaster areas.


As the department prepares to implement drought relief strategies, it says only government will handle the allocation of water tankers.

Mokonyane says no tenders will be allocated for the delivery of water to drought stricken areas to avoid the exploitation of a crisis for financial gain.

The department is currently in the process of buying 45 x 18,000 litre tankers.

Mokonyane says government will handle the procurement and delivery of water tankers as it can't afford to have greed and corruption compromise interventions.

"So that we do away with people who want to create interest in terms of doing business at the expense of the stealing of our infrastructure."

She says the North West province has the highest level of intentional vandalism of water infrastructure.

The delivery of water tankers has already begun in KwaZulu-Natal's small towns and rural villages where dams are now completely dry.

There are renewed calls for responsible water use.