South Africa is often referred to as the 30th driest country in the world, a claim that’s based on its average annual rainfall of 500mm compared to the world average of 860mm. National rainfall averages have a purpose. They do, however, have limited value where regional and local rainfall distribution varies considerably and when water security is threatened by recurring droughts, or when water use is poorly regulated and managed. Average rainfall data is meaningless when water demand exceeds supply.
This is true in South Africa. Since 2013 nearly every region in South Africa has experienced some form of drought and water shortages resulting in water restrictions in urban areas and in the agriculture sector.