Water crises in N West, Mpumalanga towns

2013-03-01 10:43
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Johannesburg - The water crisis in many towns in North West and Mpumalanga was just the symptom of a complex problem, according to a report on Friday.

Civil engineer and Fellow at the CSIR's Built Environment division Kevin Wall told Beeld ongoing severe water shortages in Ermelo, Lichtenburg, Middleburg, Kriel, Delmas and Lydenburg could be attributed to a lack of expertise, poor maintenance of infrastructure and an absence of political will to maintain existing systems.

He said that local authorities had demonstrated a preference for buying "new stuff" rather than maintaining existing structures.

Wall said many of the 237 local authorities did not know what kind of infrastructure existed within their municipalities.

Meanwhile, North West University authorities sent its students home on Thursday because of the ongoing severe water crisis in the city.

Poor regulation and dry reservoirs

All academic activities at the Potchefstroom campus were halted until at least Monday, resulting in a mass exodus of students.

"We don't want to take any health risks, and we're trying to limit campus water consumption to allow reservoirs to fill up faster," said campus spokesperson, Kiewiet Scheppel.

Most of Potchefstroom and the surrounding townships have been without water since last Sunday.

According to Potchefstroom municipal spokesperson Willie Maphosa, problems arose because pumps and valves at the water treatment plant were poorly regulated and reservoirs ran dry.

Maphosa said the council was investigating the possibility of gross negligence and also sabotage.

Read more on:    csir  |  mahikeng  |  mpumalanga  |  service delivery

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