12 Apr

UASA Media Release: 12 April 2024

Statement by Abigail Moyo, spokesperson of the trade union UASA:

UASA is deeply concerned about continuous water disruptions as the water supply in the province is expected to fall lower than demand periodically until the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) Phase 2 comes on-stream.

UASA warns that unless urgent measures are taken to address the issue of water security, the situation might degenerate into a second Eskom. If we allow the water crisis to prevail alongside energy challenges, the aftermath will be turmoil.

According to reports, the LHWP is nine years behind schedule due to delays by government authorities and political interference. Therefore, Gauteng will experience periodic water outages for the next five years.

Five years is a long time considering the growing population of Gauteng and the water demand. Many of the population have no access to clean, running water, making further cuts a nightmare.

The Department of Water and Sanitation recently warned citizens of Johannesburg and those residing in the fertile agricultural lands of the Free State of a looming water shutdown that could last at least six months due to critical maintenance work on the 37-kilometre LHWP tunnel due to begin in October 2024 and expected to end on 31 March 2025.

Sadly, our country’s water resources are already under immense pressure due to poor water governance, reactive management, worn-out infrastructure, degradation of our waste water treatment ability thus polluting the scarce resource even more, and add to this the growing challenge of climate change and the changing rainfall cycles – we are in for yet another man made challenge.

UASA warned years ago that South Africa is in danger of potable water shortages. We urge the government to invest in infrastructure and qualified and experienced engineers to combat the water challenges in the country and ensure water surety and the future of our people.

For further enquiries or to set up a personal interview, contact Abigail Moyo at 065 170 0162.

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