Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says if every citizen plays their part to save water, there will be no need to implement water shedding.
The Minister said South Africa is a water scarce country and unless citizens change their behaviour to conserve water, the country is going to reach a point of water stress.
“Water users must do whatever is necessary to ensure that water is conserved. There will not be a need for water shedding if water consumers adhered to calls to save water,” Sisulu said.
Sisulu’s comments come as an absence of rainfall forced a number of municipalities to implement water restrictions.
Sisulu said climate change is a reality and South Africa is feeling the effects of the phenomenon.
The minister underlined though, that there’s no need to panic at this stage, provided that “all water users take collective action to save water.”
“I’ve been informed by my advisors that the earliest we can expect rain is December… so we are in for a long dry season. Gauteng is not alone. There are other provinces like the Eastern Cape in particular and Limpopo, including large municipalities and numerous smaller towns that have water restrictions in place.”
Rand Water CEO Sipho Mosai said the country needs to reduce national consumption from 5000 megalitres per day to the required 4400 megalitres per day.
“If you have to water your garden, do it before sunrise or after sunset. Use water sparingly and use it for what it is intended. Reduce the amount of time you take to shower… two minutes is more than enough. Every drop counts,” Mosai said.
He said water restrictions might be relaxed where they are in effect if the country goes back to an average water consumption of 4400 megalitres per day.
The department will in November unveil the National Water and Sanitation Masterplan, which will include measures to address water challenges across the country.
The plan intends to guide the water sector in investment planning for the development of water resources and the delivery of water and sanitation services towards 2030 and beyond.