Meeting called to address supply issues

Is the City of Tshwane thirsty or just wasteful? The drip-drip drama continues as Rand Water and the City hash it out…

An ongoing battle has unfolded between the City of Tshwane (CoT) and Rand Water.

The City’s water issues are not a recent development. For a while now, Tshwane has faced fluctuating water levels in its reservoirs due to insufficient pressure.

Battle for water in Tshwane

On Saturday, CoT blamed Rand Water for insufficient water supply across the city.

On Sunday morning, Rand Water said it was “concerned about the CoT’s unsubstantiated statement regarding water outages in parts of the city.”

Rand Water said it was “always ready to assist the city to ensure there is sustainable water provision to residents.”

Increased water consumption the culprit

The utility company also went on to cite a technical letter it submitted to the CoT on 26 July 2023, “indicating concern over increasing water consumption.”

Rand Water said: “This emanated from the agreement between RW and the CoT that both parties will monitor consumption volumes.

“Again on 8 August 2023, an email was sent to CoT, asking CoT to curb consumption to ensure sustainable water flow”.

CoT responded “and blamed the ongoing strike”, Rand Water said.

Then on 14 August, the water utility again wrote to CoT, “raising concerns about increasing consumption and asking CoT to manage consumption to ensure sustainable water demand management for citizens.”

High-level meeting on Sunday

Following these complaints, Tshwane Mayor Cilliers Brink and MMC Themba Fosi met with Senzo Mchunu, the Minister of Water and Sanitation, on Sunday.

The meeting, which also included technical teams from both the City of Tshwane and Rand Water, focused on the pressing issue of water supply in Tshwane.

Both sides acknowledged that large parts of the city are grappling with water shortages, a problem exacerbated over the weekend due to decreased pressure from Rand Water.

In response to this, Rand Water (again) pointed out that water usage among Tshwane residents is considerably higher than global averages.

It is not limited to Tshwane either, and water wastage is a trend observed across all of Gauteng.

Change user behaviour

Those in attendance on Sunday agreed to call for immediate campaigns aimed at altering consumer habits to reduce water consumption.

Later this week, officials will convene again to develop a comprehensive plan for addressing water sustainability and losses on Tshwane’s side.

This strategy is a separate topic of discussion from the current talks between the City and Rand Water “over their responsibilities”, Fosi said on Sunday.

The City of Tshwane maintains that Rand Water falls short when it comes to maintaining adequate pressure and timely communication regarding maintenance activities.

Mayor Brink and Minister Mchunu on Sunday assured residents that the current water crisis is being tackled at the highest echelons of municipal and national governance.

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