PODCAST | The Story: Water-shedding and a desperate bid to avert Day Zero in Eastern Cape drought

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The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality is set to hit Day Zero in less than two weeks.
The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality is set to hit Day Zero in less than two weeks.

  • Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is forecasted to run out of water in less than two weeks.
  • Impofu Dam, which acts as one of the main water supply dams for the NMB municipality, has dropped below safe water extraction levels.
  • The municipality is being blamed for not managing to contain water leakages, adding to the crisis.

Frustrated residents are blaming the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality for a failure in leadership and maladministration as the region edges closer to Day Zero.

Water levels of the Impofu Dam, one of the dams from which the municipality was receiving its primary water supply from, have dropped too low for water extraction. Earlier this week, Churchill Dam was at just over 9%, with an estimated 11 days of water, while the Loerie dam was at 44% capacity, with 37 days of water supply left.

Water leakages are another issue facing the municipality, with the metro reportedly losing some 81 megalitres of water per day due to ageing infrastructure.

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

The Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu and the executive mayor Eugene Johnson had a series of visits in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to assess dam levels and water supply infrastructure. 

Mchunu said that 1 000 water leakages had been closed. He also encouraged water users in the metro to use water sparingly and save it for future generations.

This week on The Story we talk to News24 reporter in the Eastern Cape, Malibongwe Dayimani, who will shed light on how things are looking on the ground. We'll then hear from the chairperson of the Nelson Mandela Bay Ratepayers' Association, Kobus Gerber, who shares his frustrations with the municipality's failure to act sooner.


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