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Eight provinces declared disaster areas due to drought

It’s understood the impact of the drought has been exacerbated by the poor state of water infrastructure.

FILE: The water level of the Theewaterskloof Dam near Cape Town dropped to around 30 percent in March 2016. It is the largest of five major dams supplying drinking water to the city. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Eight provinces have been declared states of disaster because of the ongoing drought.

Gauteng is the only province that has not been hard hit.

Cooperative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen chaired an inter-ministerial task team yesterday examining government's response to the drought and water shortages.

In a statement, the minister said the impact of the drought has been exacerbated by the poor state of water infrastructure and people not doing enough to conserve water.

WATCH: Facing a dry future: How bad is the water crisis really?

Van Rooyen said there is also a shortfall in funds for the National Disaster Management Centre.

To make matters worse, he said some provinces are not making resources available on time for immediate response measures, and are instead relying on national government to take action.

Van Rooyen said, with the assistance of state-owned entities, the private sector and NGOs, government has drilled boreholes and distributed millions of litres of drinking water.

"Among the measures that should be considered in addressing the drought conditions are disaster management plans and other seasonal related contingency plans," the minister said.

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