Joburg residents left frustrated as Rand Water implements Stage 2 restrictions

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Taps are running dry in Joburg.
Taps are running dry in Joburg.
Dylan Bush
  • Frustrated residents are demanding answers from Johannesburg Water.
  • Residents have spoken about days of limited or no water, making life extremely difficult.
  • Johannesburg Water said the high water demand was emptying reservoirs.

Johannesburg residents say they are frustrated as to why they have been without water for hours and, sometimes, even days on end. 

Johannesburg Water said on Tuesday night that it would implement the Stage 2 restrictions announced by bulk supplier Rand Water.

Residents in Sandton and Parktown, as well as other parts of the city, told News24 they were helpless at the seemingly never-ending crisis. 

On Tuesday, a resident of Sandton, Talitha Baisch, told News24 there was no water in the area.

She said this was not uncommon because, last month, residents had endured four days of outages, as well as almost two weeks without water.

She said burst pipes and crumbling water infrastructure were a usual sight for residents in the upmarket suburb.

READ | Eastern Cape Day Zero: Business slams govt as dams dip to 12%

Another resident, Lance Ntuli, said the frequent water cuts demonstrated that the city had no plan to fix its crumbling water infrastructure. 

"It is unacceptable that Joburg Water has allowed a Day Zero situation to occur, and they treat it lightly. It is also unclear if Joburg Water is telling the truth as Rand Water has confirmed water shedding," said Ntuli.

Esa Haroun, a resident of Crown Gardens in Johannesburg South, believed infrastructure maintenance was to blame for the water outages.

Haroun said the water was restored briefly, but later disconnected without explanation.

Two Parktown residents, Helen Schütte and Cheryl Stevens, said the issue had persisted for two weeks.

Schütte described it as a "crisis" that requires investigation, while Stevens alleged residents had been kept in the dark.

"In Parktown, there has been little water for the past 12 days. Water trickled in at night between 22:00 and 06:00, but nothing in the day for 12 days. There has been no water for the last 48 hours - no explanations for what's going on, despite residents asking. No water tankers," Stevens said. 

News24 reported that Johannesburg Water said the high water demand was emptying reservoirs and affecting towers in the city. 

It said the Commando System, which includes the Crosby, Brixton and Hursthill systems, was "critically low to empty", while the Eagle Nest, Glenvista and Naturena reservoirs in Soweto, as well as Crown Gardens and Alan Manor reservoirs, were at critically low levels.

To combat this, bulk water supplier Rand Water announced that it would impose Stage 2 water shedding, during which it would cut off 30% of the water on high-consuming customer meters across municipalities. 

It said the high water demand resulted in the overall decline in reservoir storage - from 52% to 38%.

Johannesburg Water announced on Tuesday night that it would implement Rand Water's restrictions. It affects the Eikenhof, Zwartkopjes and Palmiet pump stations.

If you have been affected by the water crisis, please send us your info, photos, video and questions

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