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DWS: We are losing the traction we've gained

The Department of Water and Sanitation says that of the nine provinces in the country, dam levels have decreased in Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the Western Cape.

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

JOHANNESBURG – The Water and Sanitation Ministry says although national dam levels have increased by 2.3% to 57.9%, dam levels in Gauteng have decreased.

It says in the past week, the average dam levels in the province have seen a decrease of 0.4% to 86.3%.

Of the nine provinces in the country, dam levels have decreased in Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the Western Cape.

The ministry says its technical committee met on Wednesday and found that there has been a further deterioration since last week, and that Gauteng is not meeting the target of saving 15% of consumption a week – hitting a record 12.5% this week.

The ministry's Mlimandela Ndamase says: “What we are seeing with our water restrictions and our drive to save water, we are losing in terms of the traction that we had gained.”

He says the major transgressors for this week in terms of not adhering to water restrictions include the City of Johannesburg, which was below target – saving 10.5%, while the City of Tshwane was down to 12.8%.

The department says provincial dam levels have shown some improvements, with more than half showing an increase compared to last week.

• Eastern Cape increased from 56.9% to 58.2%
• Free State increased from 57.2% to 60.8%
• KwaZulu-Natal: slight increase from 47.1% to 47.9%
• Limpopo: up from 66.1% to 66.9%
• Gauteng: decreased from 86.7% to 86.3
• Northern Cape: up from 93.6% to 95%
• North West: noticeable increase from 73.8% to 78.1%
• Mpumalanga: slight decrease from 67.8% to 67.1%
• Western Cape has remained critically low, decreasing from 36.2% last week to 34.9% this week, still under 40%.

The Western Cape System with six dams serving the City of Cape Town was at 36.9% last week but dipped to 35.7% this week. The system was at 43% around this time last year.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)