South Africa’s looming water disaster

2014-11-03 09:12

Cape Town - Gauteng’s water was recently switched off because it was “so close to the edge” – and that’s just the beginning. The rest of the country is running on empty unless government spends 100 times more to secure our water supply.

In more than half of the country, South Africans are using more water than what’s available. We are already using 98% of our available water supply, and 40% of our waste water treatment is in a “critical state”.

A staggering 37% of our clean, drinkable water is being lost through inefficient ways of using water such as leaking pipes, dripping taps – and that is what’s being reported, the figure could be much higher.

A recent government report, seen exclusively by News24, has found that a whopping R293bn needs to be spent over the next five years, otherwise we face a looming water crisis. This is 100 times more than the R2.9bn the department is expected to spend this year on water infrastructure management, Treasury estimates show.

These worrying findings in the department of water and sanitation (DWS) report emerged just weeks after Water Minister Nomvula Mokonyane denied there was a crisis in the sector, blaming severe water shortages across Gauteng on a “technical glitch” and the theft of electricity cables.

But experts have told News24 that the rest of the country is also already “at tipping point”.

The DWS report confirmed that demand for water has already overtaken supply in 60% of South Africa’s water management systems.

It also revealed that pollution and water borne diseases are key risks to our water supplies, after finding that almost 40% of South Africa’s waste water treatment is in a “critical state”.
Running on empty

Though South Africa is a semi-arid country, the problem isn’t that we don’t have enough water in our rivers and dams.

Marius Claassen, aquatic ecologist and head of water resources research at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), says: “Even if we have a drought, in the short term it is not an issue.”

The issue, he says, is with our “old and unreliable infrastructure”.

We are already using 98% of our available water supplies - and we are not using them efficiently.

This was highlighted in the DWS’s annual report last year, when then-water minister Edna Molewa said she was concerned that an astounding 37% of our clean, drinkable water is being lost through leaking pipes, dripping taps and other inefficient ways of using water.

That’s a best case scenario, according to Claassen. “The 37% is just the ones that report it - at worst we are losing 50-60%,” he warns.

“There’s the next 10 year’s water supply - an extra third that we could be using,” points out Christine Colvin, hydrogeologist and senior manager of the Freshwater Programme at the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature South Africa.
Squeezing water out of a stone

Experts agree that to secure our supplies we need to use what we have more efficiently.

Says Colvin: “We engineered our way out of a water shortage over the last 200 years - we had to build massive infrastructure - uphill, into our dry interior and to the mines. But now...we have to work with nature, rather than against it, to get to our resources”.

With 8% of our land producing 50% of our water, South Africa must look intelligently and strategically at the problem, she says.

The government has been working on reallocating our water - 98% of which, as mentioned earlier, is already being used and therefore already allocated to specific sectors.

But Dr Anthony Turton, water expert and professor at the University of the Free State’s Centre for Environmental Management, doesn’t expect movement any time soon.

“They’ve been working on reallocating for 20 years - there is no mechanism in place.”

Claassen agrees that the department is “sitting with a real problem”. He says the government must reassess allocation - starting with agriculture, which uses 62% of our water supplies.

Though the agriculture sector is the biggest consumer of water, it generates just 5% of South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP), Turton points out.

What a waste

Crumbling infrastructure, poor efficiency and chronic wastage aren’t the only things putting a squeeze on our water supply.

The European Union noted last year that pollution was so widespread that it made it “difficult to estimate the magnitude of the problem”.

It found that South Africa generates such large amounts of harmful waste, that it is “more in line with that for developed countries”. Yet we have a “very limited” ability to deal with it.

The EU report revealed that only 5% of hazardous waste is dumped at the correct waste disposal sites.
The scarcity of our water is threatened by not disposing of hazardous or industrial waste properly, and is further impacted by the domestic waste produced by rapid urbanisation, it warned.

Around half of South Africa’s urban population now lives in informal settlements, according to a World Bank report published in August.

With “a very low level or absent” waste management system in these areas, it is not just these communities who are threatened by water borne diseases, but the surrounding local population too, the EU report cautioned.

A Blue Drop in the ocean

Indeed, complaints over the cleanliness of our water in the run-up to the 2011 local government elections prompted the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to launch an investigation of municipalities nationwide.

The SAHRC found that nationally, South Africa seems to “indicate progress”, but the regional story was quite different.

It found that 23 municipalities (9% of the total) were in a crisis state, with “acute risk of disease outbreak”. A further 38% were at high risk, with the “potential to deteriorate into a state of crisis”.

The government does have a benchmark for international standards - the Blue Drop Certification, which is supposed to monitor the quality of our water.

But of the 931 water systems within South Africa’s 153 municipalities audited in 2012, only 98 were given Blue Drop approval.

While some don’t make the grade, many simply don’t even bother to report to the government.
Rough treatment

According to the DWS’s latest public overview on the state of our water, a survey conducted in January 2010 showed that 60% of the country’s water service authorities don’t have the right licences or permits for their treatment works.

Of those that do, almost a third admitted that they do not monitor the quality of their treated water on a monthly basis. What’s more, one in five revealed that they do not use a laboratory for quality analysis - indicating that sample collection and analysis is not done at all.

Meanwhile, the SAHRC report found that many municipalities testified to a government commission that water treatment plants were collapsing “due to the heavy loads of treatment required”.

The report quoted the Ministerial Sanitation Task Team (MSTT), which found that there is no dedicated budget for sanitation at a municipal level.

“As a result, municipalities do not prioritise sanitation”, the SAHRC reported. “Often, when a budget is allocated to water and sanitation, the entire budget is spent on water and none on sanitation”.

The water schemes are however under huge financial pressure, as revealed by the report from the DWS’s planning group.

The report shows that 273 water schemes - or 30% - have budgets in deficit and are therefore short of money.

The group warned that a further 15% of the country’s water schemes are expected to fall into deficit over the next five years.
Hard rock and heavy metal

For Claassen, the overriding issue on a national level is not the quantity of water, but the quality: “Most definitely from a quality perspective it isn’t getting better - due to more and more failures from waste management services and threats from AMD (acid mine drainage), among other things.”

AMD occurs when rock chemistry generates sulphuric acid in gold and coal mines. Colvin says it can turn neutral water, at a pH level of 7, down very quickly to a pH2 or a 3 - “enough to take your nail varnish off”.

Dr Jo Burgess, research manager for mine water treatment at the Water Research Commission (WRC), advises that at low pH water may taste sour, while high pH water tastes bitter or soapy.

Flowing through rocks and rivers, the acidity in the AMD-affected water dissolves a whole sweep of metals which would normally stay in the soil and on the rocks.

Copper, arsenic, aluminium and other hard metals can be dissolved as easily as table salt in a glass of water.
A sick society

According to Colvin, AMD carries a whole batch of health risks - from diarrhoea to neurotoxicological effects - including poor brain function, loss of memory, and the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

One report on AMD in Gauteng’s mines, by Adler and Rascher in 2007, has been widely cited for claiming that long-term exposure to AMD could cause “increased rates of cancer, decreased cognitive function and [the] appearance of skin lesions”.

Claassen agrees there are definitely contaminants in AMD that might contribute to cancer, but he cautions that there are “so many different causes of cancer” that it is extremely hard to prove.

Plus, the majority of those likely to be affected are the poor mining communities where, as Colvin points out, the people are “on the front line of everything” - poverty, HIV, food shortages, poor housing and general low life expectancy.

“In America, the Erin Brockovich chromian cancer case stood out very clearly, because the people were otherwise well nourished and so on”, she says, referring to the famous example of the small town legal clerk who took on a gas and electricity juggernaut over contaminated water - and won.
Your problem and mine

AMD first hit the headlines in 2002, when flooding in the West Rand Basin released 20 million litres of polluted water into the surrounding areas.

Yet it is estimated that 90% of AMD comes from abandoned mines that were operating more than a century ago - leaving today’s taxpayer to foot the bill.

There are some 6 000 abandoned mines that could be suffering from AMD - though that number is a “moving target”, department of water and sanitation (DWS) spokesperson Sputnik Ratau says.

The SAHRC argues that the government only began to take it seriously a decade later, “once AMD started to threaten the interests of relatively empowered, politically influential and wealthy populations in and around Johannesburg”.

Certainly, it is not a problem that affects the whole country - although it has been reported in a number of areas, including the Witwatersrand Gold Fields, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal Coal Fields, and the Okiep Copper District.

Turton says the problem is often “blown out of proportion” - as the chances of drinking untreated, AMD water for long periods of time is “extremely unlikely”.

However, he points out that the government’s solution has so far been to dilute and neutralise the AMD with clean water. With supplies running low, he asks: “Where will we get the water to dilute it?”

For every litre of AMD water, five to seven litres of good quality water is needed to make it usable, according to Marius Keet, acting chief director for the DWS Gauteng region.

But it’s not that simple. You can never be sure that it will be 100% clean. As Claassen says: “Even conventional water treatments wouldn’t get rid of it. The impact will still be there”.

At the coal face

For Claassen, it is not just the legacy of the old mines but the “explosion of new, smaller mines” that is a problem.

Indeed, the WWF has witnessed a “massive proliferation” of coal prospecting licences in Mpumalanga alone.

Colvin said: “More than half of Mpumalanga has been given prospecting licences (which if approved will progress to mining licences).”

According to the Water Resources Institute (WRI), Mpumalanga supplies freshwater to the Olifants River catchment, which is already impacted by AMD.

Andrew Maddocks, head of the WRI’s Water Program, says there is a continuous development of coal in the upper Vaal River catchment and a string of applications for new mining permits.

“Should these mines go ahead, the quality of water in the Vaal River will suffer from AMD pollution,” he says.

Meanwhile, Colvin warned that Gauteng is going to lose a significant proportion of its water.

“Look at how quickly the recent problem led to the water being cut off for weeks by Rand Water. It was because they were so close to the edge, the supply was just about meeting demand.

“We are going to push ourselves to tipping point where we will be switching taps off.”
Running out of wiggle room

If a mine is active, it is the owner’s responsibility to clean up any AMD. Many companies are making efforts to comply - for example with Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Gold Fields developing strategies to mitigate future risks.

But it is taxpayers’ money that has been used in the past to clean up abandoned mines.

AMD straddles the mining, power and water sectors, calling on different government departments for solutions. It has fallen to the DWS however, to take the lead on AMD - on top of its duty to address water shortage issues - just as it feels the impact of understaffing. The DWS’s annual report shows that 10% of their positions are vacant due to difficulties attracting the right talent.

Facing an exorbitant bill, the department is now asking mining groups and other stakeholders for investment.

Keet said his department alone needs to find R10bn to dilute water in the Vaal over the next three to four years. This money is not included in the budget that the government has given the DWS for waste water management.

“Even if we manage to deal with the legacy,” says Claassen, “we almost have a growing problem rather than a shrinking problem (because of the new mines)”.

The threat of a growing AMD problem, combined with the slew of issues faced by our creaking water system has left us no room to manoeuvre. Or as Turton puts it: “We are running out of wriggle room.”

The EU report is more damning. Claiming that the status quo is unsustainable, it warns: “If social and economic issues are addressed separately from environmental issues, ecological and social collapse is certain.”


INFOGRAPHIC: What a senseless waste!

  • Lynn O'Shea Comley-White - 2014-11-03 09:30

    Get rid of the ANC government and just give another party a chance .... that's all we need to do!! If that party doesn't work then vote for another one. That is democracy! The ANC is absolutely useless ... Why can't people see that?? They are running this country (that, by the way, was working very well before 1994 . no power cuts, no water shortages EVEN when we had very BAD droughts all through the 1980s) into the ground. They had not the slightest idea how to govern a country when they took over in 1994. No experience whatsoever!! And this is the result. Just the same as other countries that became "free and independent" all over Africa. The ANC could not see and take wise advice from people who actually knew what they were doing. OH NO! ' Get the white people out and let us take over '. Well, clever people, this is the result. Chaos! Thank your ancestors. This is what they have achieved for you!

      Anthoula Joshua - 2014-11-03 17:34

      Racism will get us nowhere. Yes we need a better government though. Yes apartheid was evil. Yes Zuma and his cronies are just as evil.

  • Cynical Heathen - 2014-11-03 09:31

    This country simply cannot have another 5 years of these brainless ANC criminals

      Mike Heyns - 2014-11-03 13:40

      For sure, everything is busy falling apart!! And as the water is becoming a reality, the sewerage systems is entering the phase of concern. Then the last will collapse! The complete health system. And THAT is why government officials and ministers have their own plans and facilities! I guess Zumaville will be fast tracked now (senior Management were already briefed on the urgency to complete the project)!

  • Ria Cook - 2014-11-03 09:31

    I do not know HOW we are going to build this country up again post-ANC.

      Mike Heyns - 2014-11-03 15:53

      And assuming there is anything left to build!??

  • Andrew MacDonald - 2014-11-03 09:33

    to be fair, a large portion of the blame must be laid at the feet of the mining houses who had over a century of almost unreualted access to our water resource.

  • Johannes van Zyl - 2014-11-03 09:36

    And fracking in the Karoo is going to alleviate the "clean" water problem - or not...??

      Andre Jacobs - 2014-11-03 12:19

      Yes we and the animals shall be frekking because you can't drink benzine.

  • Adie Masana - 2014-11-03 09:40

    Never never had this problem in the apartheid era.

      Jean-Pierre De Lapelin Dumont - 2014-11-03 11:20

      Actually you cannot say that - there has been an under investment in water infrastructure for decades. Mining houses and heavy industry have been operating in fairly unregulated regime (specifically pollution related) for hundreds of years.

      CliveK - 2014-11-03 15:53

      Maybe so, Adie, but the population and industry have grown, while the govt has been too busy with grandiose schemes and self-enrichment to concern itself with the nuts and bolts of grassroots maintenance and everyday management of existing resources. Another "technical glitch", I guess.

      Mike Heyns - 2014-11-03 16:01

      @JP: You are quite correct! No investment was made towards anything since 1994. To the contrary, the resources and infra-structure was milked for pocket lining. And when they wanted to double "invest", the public united and gave them nothing! Now that "real problems" started to surface, no more money and no more employees left to pay for it!? In fact, they are busy getting less and less daily! Ever wondered why you buy an appliance with a two year warranty and after two years and one day it brakes down? Deja Vu!

  • jvz567 - 2014-11-03 09:40

    And fracking in the Karoo is going to alleviate the problem of sufficient, clean water there - or not..??

      Joe Holman - 2014-11-03 10:29

      I think fracking is dead in the water pardon the pun. Its not viable at current oil price as its very capital cost intensive and with the recent drop in oil price fracking cannot float pardon the pun again...

  • Adrian Jéan - 2014-11-03 09:40

    We can not run out of water... The earth is 70% water... What needs to happen is we need to start investigating the purification of salt water which can be done and begin the implementation of the infrastructure necessary for the inland regions to receive water.

      Nic Bischoff - 2014-11-03 09:42

      Desalination is a very expensive exercise and requires massive amounts of electricity to work. So it is not a solution.

      Dewald Deef Vorster - 2014-11-03 10:21

      Desalination by using the greenhouse-solar system uses very little electricity.

      Willem Strydom - 2014-11-03 11:42

      @ Dewald, and how do you suppose lifting the water 2000m above sea level to Gauteng and the rest of the country? Energy equation = p.g.H.Q./1000.n

      Dewald Deef Vorster - 2014-11-03 12:08

      @Willem, solar energy driven water pumps.

      Sharlene Meifels - 2014-11-03 22:47

      We need to stop putting ignorant people in charge!

      Alan Kennedy - 2014-11-04 13:10

      A heliostat-driven solar desalinator should be able to deliver super-heated steam for electricity generation, and water ... just needs some proper design work. The Aussies are on the verge of ironing out the last kinks in such a system [reports suggest]

  • Adrian Jéan - 2014-11-03 09:43

    The water shortage is inevitable and would happen no matter the government... Water shortage stems from climate change and over population. Whether it started effecting us now or in another 20 years it would still be happening.

      Ria Cook - 2014-11-03 10:17

      Adrian, intelligent people can manage anything nature throws at them!

      joannekc1 - 2014-11-03 10:41

      When was the last time a dam was built in SA for water supply?

      Tyler Durton - 2014-11-03 13:38

      Stop apologising for your skin colour and get angry Adrian. This government is doing a terrible job. We have to pay for this, not them, as usual. And after we've paid for it and save their lives they will want to throw us in the ocean.

  • Richard Zanner - 2014-11-03 09:49

    Well the water problem has already been sorted by JZ when he explained to us that we live in a semi desert and that we are thus simply a country with little water. So we are warned and so it is all ok.

      Joe Holman - 2014-11-03 10:32

      But JZ has his firepool so he doesn't give a fig - as for the rest of us we better go and buy JoJo tanks!!!

  • Nathan Strong - 2014-11-03 10:00

    Will these appointees ever realize the importance of "Preventative maintenance"? Somehow, I doubt it particularly as so many of our nation don't understand the concept of "Preventative" anything, hence the population increase beyond all reason.

  • Gerhard Burger - 2014-11-03 10:02

    Step 1 Take functioning para-stall. Step 2 Employ cadres in top positions. Step 3 Get rid of competent managers,technicians,engineers. Step 4 Pay outrages performance bonuses,spend no money on maintenance. Step 5 Start commission to investigate collapse. Step 6 Award billion rand contracts without tender. SAA Telkom SABC Portnet Transnet Eskom Postnet

      Joe Holman - 2014-11-03 10:35

      @Gerhard - pls insert Step 3.1: Hire "Consultants" costing countless millions wherever you can possibly think of...

      joannekc1 - 2014-11-03 10:43

      Take Postnet out of that list.

      Gerhard Burger - 2014-11-03 11:10

      My bad JK101,meant to put Post Office.

  • Douglas Hollis - 2014-11-03 10:02

    My word. Grim reading indeed. Crisis? What crisis?

  • Hemlock - 2014-11-03 10:08

    Oh please. We have on several occasions reported water leakage in the streets of our neighbourhood and water pumping out and running down the road for days/weeks. Ekurhuleni take their own sweet time to fix the leaks. The leak outside the Police Station took almost 3 weeks!!!! These lazy cretins must get off of their fat backsides and do the work they are paid to do!!!!!

  • Janine Filmer - 2014-11-03 10:12

    An unstable electricity supply and a possible water shortage - more good stories from the anc!

      Johns - 2014-11-03 10:40

      A few years ago a water department staff member was fired for making comment about the water supply. The minister at the time said there was no problem...

      Martin Pienaar - 2014-11-03 11:14

      Typical AFRICAN COUNTRY!!! Can do nothing right.

  • Denton Fourie - 2014-11-03 10:12

    The problem is 20 million people get water free and 5 million pay for it..

      Ria Cook - 2014-11-03 10:19

      And it's just the other way around when it comes to paying taxes!

  • Athena - 2014-11-03 10:13

    So let's get this straight: There's no Post, the SAPO is on strike. Half the shelves in the supermarkets are empty because there's a transport strike. No electricity due to load shedding Water shortages What was the good story again?

      Anthoula Joshua - 2014-11-03 17:38

      The sun is shining I guess. LOL!!!

      Athena - 2014-11-03 18:02

      Not here, it's gloomy and overcast. Much like our future.

  • Akhenaten C.T. - 2014-11-03 10:17

    'Spend hundred times more' will never happen as there wont be enough left for corruption. If you know how to steal, you don't have to know how to provide.

  • Gazzarow Photos - 2014-11-03 10:27

    Another round of applause for the ANC please!!.. maybe you can start working on taking away the air we breath next??

  • John Stoltz - 2014-11-03 10:27

    The looming water crisis is a direct function of the overwhelming incompetence of the ANC's cadre deployment policy!! This scourge will ultimately ruin this wonderful country! Just hoping that the 62% brain dead voters will wake up !!

  • tony.becker.961 - 2014-11-03 10:34

    A good story to tell. "They have been working on a solution for twenty years and there is still no mechanism in place" vokken anc stuff ups.

  • Sandy Lange - 2014-11-03 10:35

    Welcome to South Africa - the nation that doesn't even fall into the catagory "3rd world" - AND yet, when voting comes around again the majority will vote for the ruling party -

  • Giancarlo_Groenewald - 2014-11-03 10:35

    Ok so we give the money to do the upgrades. Watch Zuma and his pathetic cronies use it for a big party.

  • Thabisi Hoeane - 2014-11-03 10:36

    Load shedding and now water problems! And as usual NOBODY is going to be fired for this crass incompetence!

  • Daniel Ferguson - 2014-11-03 10:36

    I blame apartheid

      Anthoula Joshua - 2014-11-03 17:39

      If all else fails, blame apartheid. The easy way out.

  • Kevin Walker - 2014-11-03 10:40

    Instead of publishing on a day to day basis all the individual disasters....Wouldn't it be easier just to say South Africa is a disaster and getting worse everyday.

      Naren.Sukhnandan - 2014-11-03 19:58

      Yes it all started in 1994....

  • James Hamilton - 2014-11-03 10:44

    I live in a town called Thabazimbi. And if we had 10 hours of water in the last week thats a lot. Trust me living out buckets is not fun. And its been like this for 3 months. Bad/lack of maintenance is the cause. Welcome to our world.

  • Tian Nel - 2014-11-03 10:44

    ekskom cant provide everyone with electricity.water shortages a threat to south africa proudly brought to you by the anc

  • Mariah Prudy Mahlangu - 2014-11-03 10:45

    One way to make sure crime doesn't pay would be to let the government run it.

  • Lawrence Robert Atkinson - 2014-11-03 10:45

    Great Article. Some other points. The Water Act of 1998 is world class and directs the Department of Water on their structure and how they must manage water – IE: how to do their job. This has not been implemented due to the ‘political’ implication of the Act. So right now water is being managed (or not managed?) in defiance of the Water Act. A good 60% of the problems highlighted in this article would be better managed if the Act was implemented. But that would totally restructure the Department and they too scared to do that.

  • Rendani Nemavhidi - 2014-11-03 10:52

    God forbid no water no electricity?

      Anthoula Joshua - 2014-11-03 17:40

      We will die with no water and disease ridden water. Our babies will die before they get a chance to grow.

  • Emone Nomore - 2014-11-03 10:57

    My daily prayer: Dear God, what did we do to deserve this ANC government? Are we being punished for something we did in our previous life? Please God, deliver us from this corruption and inefficiency. And lastly God, please get Zuma to pay back the money. Thank you God.

      Anthoula Joshua - 2014-11-03 17:41

      Amen! I think we are being punished for our bad behaviour and hatred of each other because of race perhaps. Who knows. We can just keep on praying for God to intervene.

  • Hennie Cloete - 2014-11-03 10:57

    For those who are interested, google '50/50 canned after 25 years'.

  • Gorj Bear - 2014-11-03 10:57

    Another good ANC story to tell.

  • neil.moorgas - 2014-11-03 11:01

    It's quite evident that the ANC cannot organize a ?!$$@? In a brewery!

  • Yaj Chetty - 2014-11-03 11:04


  • Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg - 2014-11-03 11:09

    Anyone still think we are going forward?. Keep this lot in power and we will all be queueing at water trucks with our buckets before too long. Since we won't have power most of the day and the infrastructure would have broken down completely, we will have all the time in the world to lament our lot while those in the fortunate possession of fire pools will live as if nothing is happening.

      Wotnext - 2014-11-03 11:34

      @Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg - When the Nats said the country would fail under an ANC government, people like you screamed "racists" at the top of your lungs, because you were so busy trying to put this lot in power to prove how liberal you were. Why are you complaining now that you've got what you wanted? And why do you never have the guts to answer when anyone replies to you?

  • Yaj Chetty - 2014-11-03 11:10

    As Chinua Achebe said : Things Fall Apart. because of corruption, self-enrichment, incompetence and stupidity !

  • Daniel Montsha - 2014-11-03 11:16

    I am here at Thohoyandou and I frequently witness people watering their gardens while it is raining. political parties should make it their duties to inform residence about the preservation of water during their rallies and every one else. the down fall of South Africa is the ignorance of its citizens.

  • Thandile Yandisa Masiza-Njobe - 2014-11-03 11:23

    These are the real issues that our government must tackle, instead of using our monies to pay for state funerals esp for these corrupt politicians and uncultured celebrities.

      Kenneth Maimane - 2014-11-03 23:35

      What is monies,some kind of tokoloshe in your pants?

  • Mike TheoneAndonly Meets - 2014-11-03 11:24

    Yup takes a white man to state the obvious and the guys who must make sure we got constant water supply busy inriching themselves.

  • Johan Nothnagel - 2014-11-03 11:33

    Wow, these people just dont get it - the heading should be "South África is a disaster"

  • John Tribelhorn - 2014-11-03 11:33

    This is what one gets when you vote in an ANC government, well the rating agencies are also looking around and junk status is underway. We must we expect with a peanut and a crook of a president who cannot even face his own fools in parliament and who runs around signing a trillion Rand deal with an even more corrupt brics country.

  • Quintin Rogers - 2014-11-03 11:33

    Water Shedding on its way

  • Andre Jacobs - 2014-11-03 11:35

    This has all to do with planning and the ability to run a business or a country. You use STATISTICS to plan--the population is number one. Then you do all the planning around these figures and they FAIL on another aspect again----POORLY CONTROLLED BORDERS---DUE TO CORRUPTION AND GREED. ALL IS LINKED and the anc fails on all ---MILLIONS MORE ENTER THE COUNTRY THAN SHOWN--so your statistics mean buggerall. Fix corruption then fix education and then fix this ugly racism and award jobs on merit. So with uncontrolled migration and illegals there will be an even higher demand for water and a even higher shortage. This attitude must change --to govern doesn't mean to GOVERN PERSONAL AND CADRE BANK ACCOUNTS. Maybe the Bric countries must get together and place SA under their administration...--These guys haven't got a clue.

  • James Herbst - 2014-11-03 11:38

    And yet 60 percent keeps voting them in power.......

  • Yob Vas - 2014-11-03 11:42

    HEY JACOB THE LOSER ZUMA STOP STEALING AND START DOING otherwise you'll be the kind of a sandpit words can't quite describe how much I DISLIKE you and your sycophants - you're going to ruin the one 'party' state dude between you and that red beret wearing moron you are NOT inspiring me with confidence what makes it even scarier, is that there are 11 million morons out there who think that you are worth voting for ! Just think, next time you get 'lucky' and go for that miracle cure-all shower, their may be no water in it..

  • Joe Pizelli - 2014-11-03 11:46

    You can't drink or eat GDP.

  • Lums Zindela - 2014-11-03 11:47

    yeah, just after nomvula mokonyane shown her butt to zuma, now her department will be overseeing a whopping R293bn, umhmmm there's something fishy here.

      sam.e.scapes - 2014-11-03 12:12

      Read the article, they are only spending 1/100 of what they should in order to be able to deal with the crumbling infrastructure.

  • Nabeel Roberts - 2014-11-03 11:52

    and yet fracking in the karoo is still on the cards. Ai ai ai, daar is niks raad vir zumaheid nie. #unearthed