South Africa News

Northern Cape residents advised to boil water before drinking

It looks like residents in the Northern Cape will have to start boiling their tap water before drinking it.

This is on the back of the release of the latest Blue Drop Water report, which shows an overall increase in the number of systems in a “critical” state of performance over the last nine years.

The Northern Cape has the highest percentage of drinking water systems with poor or critical performance. Since 2014, this has increased from 48% to 87%.

It also has one of the highest levels of drinking water quality non-compliance.

Water Minister Senzo Mchunu spoke to 702’s Bongani Bingwa on Wednesday morning.

Asked if he would drink the tap water in the Northern Cape, this was his response:

“Of course, when the report says in Northern Cape there’s a problem, you would want to say if you want to drink tap water and if tap water is the only water you have, please boil your water before drinking it. That’s the only way we can advise citizens in the meantime.”

Mchunu indicated that they intend on issuing this as official advice after discussing it with the Director-General.

WATER WASTAGE IN SA

The amount of water wasted in South Africa has risen to 47% from 37% in 2014.

This was revealed in the latest No Drop report, which looks at how efficiently municipalities drinking water distribution systems supply water without wasting.

According to the report, wastage happens through leaks, problems with water meters, illegal connections as well as billing and revenue collection issues.

Mchunu highlighted the gravity of the situation.

“Water needs to be managed and demanded and supplied in a sustainable manner. You can’t just lose such volumes of water and then call upon the bulk supplier for more, only to lose it. There is a municipality in the country that loses up to 45% of their water directly to the ground.”

Mchunu said this was a major challenge but that they are working to address it.

“Now if you have a municipality that loses 45% directly, not just non-revenue but direct physical leaks, we have a tall order. Of course, we are not sitting and talking and we are not lamenting, we are acting and we are taking action.”

-EWN

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Ntando Duma

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