Johannesburg Water has rejected allegations suggesting that the recent disruptions in the city’s water supply were a result of deliberate sabotage.
Earlier this week, certain areas of Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni experienced water shortages due to increased water consumption, placing a strain on reservoirs. Additionally, a recent storm exacerbated the situation by causing a system failure and adding pressure to the water supply. The hardest-hit areas included Sandton, Midrand, and parts of southern Johannesburg.
Addressing the media on Friday, Johannesburg Water outlined its plans to restore water supply to affected areas, with an expected return to normalcy in some regions as early as Saturday, particularly in Midrand and Sandton.
Ntshavheni Mukwevho, the Managing Director of Johannesburg Water, dismissed claims that the water crisis was a ploy to manipulate procurement processes and secure tenders for certain officials. He emphasized that the challenges primarily stemmed from issues with the bulk water supplier rather than their own operations. He explained, “I don’t believe there is any truth to the notion that this sabotage is occurring to facilitate the use of water tankers. In reality, we do not prefer a situation where we rely on water tankers because it is both costly and operationally complex.”
Johannesburg Water identified two key factors contributing to the city’s water crisis. Mukwevho pointed out that warmer weather and a significant storm during the week had placed considerable strain on the water utility. He elaborated, “The primary issue was that the demand for water exceeded the available supply. Although we had communicated with residents to manage their water usage, the power failure at the bulk supplier ultimately hampered our recovery efforts.”
While the restoration of water supply to the northern suburbs is expected on Saturday, Mukwevho cautioned that it would take longer to address the situation in the southern parts of the city. He stated, “Regarding the system serving the Crown Gardens area, we anticipate returning to normal at the beginning of the following week, likely around Tuesday or Wednesday.”