Question NW2209 to the Minister of Water and Sanitation

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25 September 2018 - NW2209

Profile picture: Wessels, Mr W

Wessels, Mr W to ask the Minister of Water and Sanitation

(1)Whether all municipalities in the Eastern Cape have water restrictions in place, in view of the current drought in the specified province; if not, (a) why not and (b) what are the details of the municipalities that are not enforcing water restrictions; (2) whether his department intends to implement water saving measures in the specified province; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) whether he will make a statement on the matter?


(1) No, not all municipalities in the Eastern Cape Province have water restrictions, only those in the western side of the Province, where water resources are under severe threat due to the drought. The drought is most severe in the Sarah Baartman District Municipality (DM) and Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality (MM); and these are the only two municipalities to renew their ‘declaration of state of disaster’.

(1)(a) The Blue Crane Route and Sundays River Valley Local Municipalities (LMs) are not restricted as their water comes from the Gariep Dam on the Orange River via the Fish-Sundays River Scheme, which is not restricted. Municipalities on the Eastern side of the province received fairly good summer rains and their dams had recovered to levels not requiring water restrictions.

(1)(b) The Nelson Mandela Bay MM, Dr. Beyers Naude and Gamtoos Irrigation Board have been very diligent and have complied with the water restrictions, however Kouga, Koukamma, Makana and Ndlambe LMs are battling to achieve the required water restrictions and have recently introduced the severe actions of water rationing through water cuts during night hours. Joe Gqabi District Municipality (DM) also introduced water rationing through water cuts at night and is practiced in Burgersdorp and Lady Grey due to infrastructure constraints and vandalism. In Alfred Nzo DM, the towns of Mt. Ayliff, Mt. Frere and Ntabankulu also have water cuts at night due to high demand of illegal connection and low yields.

(2) Yes, the Department has implemented water saving measures in the Eastern Cape Province. Water Restrictions are implemented in accordance with the Drought Operating Rules for each dam / scheme affected by drought. The War-on-Leaks programme, which is meant to fix leaks and create awareness, has been rolled out and media and other awareness campaigns undertaken. The monthly Algoa Drought Monitoring Committee meetings between role-players, stakeholders and Departments have greatly aided communication and maintained focus to achieve the restrictions and water savings.

(3) Communication out there including this response is adequate.

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