SA under water stress but plan coming, says Sisulu

Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said that one of the biggest threats to the country was the unpredictable rainfall.

Minister of Water and Sanitation Lindiwe Sisulu (centre) briefs the media on Gauteng's water crisis on 28 October 2019 in Johannesburg. Picture: @DWS_RSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu on Monday said South Africa was under water stress and her department would be announcing a master plan next month to urgently address the issue.

Sisulu held a briefing in the south of Joburg on the current water demand and its immediate impact on consumers

The water shortages come as several provinces in the country, including Gauteng, simmered in hot conditions due to a heatwave with little to no rainfall.

Water officials said they were concerned over the current water usage patterns by consumers, with most parts of the country experiencing high temperatures with little rainfall forecast at least until the end of the year.

Sisulu said South Africans urgently needed to limit their water usage.

She said that climate change was real and it was affecting South Africa.

The minister has assured South Africans the current situation was receiving the highest level of attention from government, saying she would unveil a master plan next month, which included water restrictions that would be put in place.

Sisulu said that one of the biggest threats to the country was the unpredictable rainfall.

Sisulu said there was no need panic but precautions needed to be taken.

"South Africa, like many other parts of the globe, is seeing a very dry season getting longer, more intense and more frequent. Climate change is a reality and it is affecting South Africa in this way."

She said that a number of provinces were battling.

"Gauteng is not alone. There are other provinces like the Eastern Cape in particular and Limpopo, which include large municipalities and numerous smaller towns that have various levels of water restrictions in place and in some cases receive only intermittent supplies."

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