Two mines step in to help Barberton's water crisis

The water crisis in Barberton has been somewhat alleviated as two of the area's mines have stepped in to help. (iStock)
The water crisis in Barberton has been somewhat alleviated as two of the area's mines have stepped in to help. (iStock)

The water crisis facing residents of Barberton in the Mpumalanga Lowveld has been temporarily curtailed after two mines in the area stepped in.

The two mines, Barberton and Agnes, are two of the biggest employers in the area.

Last week, News24 reported that Barberton was on the verge of running out of water due to the low level of the Lomati Dam, the town's main water source.

READ | 'All we can do now is pray for rain' - Water crisis hits Barberton

The dam is situated in the Makhonjwa mountains between Barberton and the Bulembu border post with Swaziland.

At the time, the water level was 20% - it now stands at 18%.

According to Philip Minnaar, a DA councillor in Barberton, the mines donated 10 JoJo tanks that would be erected at strategic points in the town and neighbouring suburb of Emjindini.

"The mines also donated a 1 000m pipe that will be connected to a borehole at the town's rugby club which will supply extra water to the Pike reservoir," said Minnaar. 

"This will ensure that the reservoir will be filled quicker and thus increase the pressure to taps in most of the areas in town. They will also ensure that the JoJo tanks are filled daily."

READ | Gift of the Givers to deliver fodder to drought-stricken Eastern Cape farmers

The mines also agreed to tap two suburbs near the town, Verulam and Dixie, into their own water reticulation systems so they do not need to get water from the town's sources.

Joseph Ngala, the spokesperson for the Mbombela Municipality under which Barberton falls, said the municipality's disaster management committee was activated to address the crisis.

An emergency meeting between the council, different water boards and mines will take place on Thursday.

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