Tshwane water crisis: Where is the Minister?

Issued by Leon Basson MP – DA Shadow Minister of Water and Sanitation
06 Jul 2023 in News
  • While severe water shortages are threatening the livelihoods of Tshwane residents, the Minister of Water and Sanitation is mum.
  • The lack of prior warning and refusal to share crucial information by Rand Water hinders effective crisis management. 
  • The DA calls for immediate intervention from Minister Mchunu and transparency from Rand Water on the water crisis.

The Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu, has failed to demonstrate the leadership that is needed to resolve the water crisis in Tshwane.

The DA calls on Minister Mchunu, to intervene immediately and instruct Rand Water to be transparent and honest about the cause of the water crisis.

The ongoing water crisis in the City of Tshwane has left large parts of the capital without water for several days. This crisis has been exacerbated by the lack of transparency and honesty from yet another state-owned entity, Rand Water – the primary water supplier in the region.

The DA demands a clear commitment from the Minister regarding the restoration of water and water pressure to Tshwane’s reservoirs. Additionally, we seek assurances that measures are being put in place to prevent similar crises from occurring in the future. The residents of Tshwane deserve access to reliable water services, and it is the responsibility of the Minister to ensure that this fundamental need is provided.

This is not the first time Tshwane has faced such water shortages. Since December 2022, there have been multiple instances of water cuts, leaving residents without access to this essential resource. Rand Water has consistently cited power interruptions and hot weather as the reasons behind these disruptions. However, their explanations have failed to provide a satisfactory resolution to the problem.

What is particularly alarming is the lack of prior warning about these supply problems. The technical teams at Rand Water have shown a refusal to share crucial information with Tshwane, hindering effective crisis management.

It is evident that there are serious and persistent systems issues within Rand Water that have not been disclosed to the public, and potentially even to the Minister and Deputy Ministers. This level of secrecy is unacceptable, especially considering that we, as customers of the water utility, should have access to continuous updates about the core reservoirs that supply residents with water.

The consequences of Rand Water’s mishandling of these crises are dire. The City of Tshwane is burdened with the financial strain of deploying water tankers each time a shortage occurs, diverting funds that could be better utilized for other essential services. As a result, we propose that Rand Water must take responsibility for the costs that the City incurs for water tankers.

The water crisis being faced in the City of Tshwane currently is not an isolated event and has occurred in many municipalities that Rand Water supplies water to.

We therefore implore the management of Rand Water to adopt a more open approach and disclose the underlying issues causing these water supply problems. By doing so, we can better prepare the public for potential interruptions and implement effective mitigating measures. We also call upon the Minister of Water and Sanitation to ensure that Rand Water urgently assists the City of Tshwane in managing this crisis and restoring water provision to the City.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, get help registering to vote at check.da.org.za