Relief For Gauteng Waterless Communities

Johannesburg - A number of interventions have been put in place to ensure that Gauteng residents, who have been without water for almost two weeks, have access to water points until water supplies return to normal.

This is according to Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane who met with Rand Water and other involved stakeholders to discuss the water supply interruptions which started on 15 September.

Briefing the media on Friday after a meeting, the minister said the interventions agreed on include increasing the number of water tankers and developing time schedules regarding redistribution.

The meeting also agreed on the redistribution of reservoirs and making sure they are filled up so they cover the various local authorities.

"There will also be additional pumping that will take place to restore normal operations and supply to the affected areas of Tshwane, Ekurhuleni , Johannesburg and some of the high lying areas of Mogale City, at least within the period of two weeks so that everything will be normalised," Minister Mokonyane said.

She said an integrated committee had been put together that will include relevant stakeholders including, energy suppliers in Gauteng, Eskom, different local authorities in the province, the Department of Health, the Department of Human Settlements as well as the Department of Social Department.

Minister Mokonyane said an agreement had been reached that hospitals and vulnerable communities would be prioritised during this period.

Stakeholders will be talking to the residents of Gauteng urging them to use water sparingly and make sure that they comply in terms of irrigation and use of water in outdoor activities.

A helpline has been established to ensure constant communication with residents. The helpline number is 086 01 01 060 and is expected to be operational by later this afternoon.

The Minister said one had to appreciate the challenges with regards to the quality of infrastructure and huge water demand that goes with it.

"We will also be focussing on water circle management, which is about the flow and movement of water from one area to another so that we don't have a distortion and raise the levels of anxiety in our communities."