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SA still facing drought, water restrictions to continue - DWS

Last Monday’s records showed that national dam levels increased by 2.1% to 52.8% compared to the same period last year.

FILE: A gate at the Vaal Dam is opened. Picture: Louise McAuliffe/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Water and Sanitation Department says although rainfall in the past few months has assisted in filling up dams, South Africa remains in a drought situation and water restrictions across the country will continue.

Last Monday’s records show that national dam levels increased by 2.1% to 52.8% compared to the same period last year when levels were at 50.7%.

In Gauteng, dam levels went up by 0.3% to 87.1%.

Officials are currently gathering data on dam levels across the country since the last count a week ago.

The Vaal River system which consists of 14 dams and mainly services the Gauteng province increased by 3.2% to 61.7% last week.

The South African Weather Service says that starting from Monday afternoon, there will be rain in Gauteng until around Thursday.

Although the good news comes as a relief, Water and Sanitation Department spokesperson Sputnik Ratau says there is still a long way to go.

“The rains that have been falling have been very kind to the country but we are still in a drought situation.”

In Gauteng, water restrictions mean domestic users must make a 15% water saving while agriculture must save 20%, and according to the department, the cities of Johannesburg and Tshwane are faring well in meeting the targets while Ekurhuleni is performing poorly.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)