To panic after a crisis holds no water

2014-09-28 15:00

Panic has been the order of the day across Gauteng’s three metros in the wake of the water cutoffs over the past two weeks.

The problem, it seems, is not clear cut and depends on whose version we believe. The problem – which by this week had affected suburbs and towns in Joburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni – either stemmed from a transformer that blew, a defect on a power cable or just power being cut.

Another problem is that we do not know how long the situation will last and what it is that is being done to ensure water supply returns to normal.

Officials are not giving clear answers and now there could be water rationing, as experienced during electricity load shedding – a system where certain areas are cut off at particular times of the day.

It is clear that the problems that have caused the shortages caught officials off guard. They clearly didn’t have a plan B to deal with the level of the problem, or it can be put down to just a plain lack of expertise required to deal with the crisis.

We all know water is a scarce resource for the country as a whole – Gauteng in particular, because of its distance from a natural water source. But as water expert Professor Mike Muller pointed out: “We don’t have a water crisis unless

we create one.”

The interruption clearly could have been avoided if the water utilities of the metros had efficient contingency plans in place, ready to deal with a situation like this.

Muller pointed out that officials “must panic at the right time, before the problem”, not wait for a crisis and then panic.

Indeed, if we panicked before the crisis, the problem would have been fixed long ago.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.