SA has enough water for winter - Government

10:09 (GMT+2) Wed, 15 May 2019

South Africa has adequate water in storage to sustain it through the dry winter season, but the resource should be utilised carefully, the department of water and sanitation has said.

Dam levels were at 73.7 percent for the past two weeks, a 6.2 drop compared to the same period last year, spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau said.

"However, the department warns consumers to use water sparingly as the country may run dry if the precious resource is used negligently."

He said the average dam levels for the Western Cape stood at 33.7% as the province anticipates a wet winter season while Gauteng has the highest dam levels at 96.8 percent.

The Free State and Northern Cape dam levels were recorded at 88.4 percent and 81.6 percent respectively, while Mpumalanga retained a stable 74.2 percent.

"Although vast parts of the Eastern Cape received heavy rains in the past two weeks, the regions of Gamtoos Valley and Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) remained a source of concern as they are almost dry of potable water," Ratau said.

"Residents in Makhanda rely on tanked water for basic use as the local river is left with the lowest water levels. The average levels in the province have dropped fractionally to 62.4 percent this week.''

KwaZulu-Natal, recently hit by heavy storms that resulted in flash floods on the outskirts of Durban, retained a  65.2 percent of provincial dam levels.

"The Free State has become an antithesis of the weather, with one part of the province drenched in heavy rains whilst another has been afflicted by the drought," said Ratau.

- African News Agency (ANA)