South Africa is experiencing the biggest drought since the early 1900s, which is directly affecting property owners.
Water shortage in Pretoria
Pretoria is currently experiencing extreme temperatures reaching up to 39°C. Combined with the drought this has led to Rand Water, which supplies water to Gauteng, putting water restrictions on property owners.
“Tshwane reservoirs are operating at an average of over the 50% level. We continuously monitor our reservoirs and, so far, the situation is under control. A problem may occur if our customers go against what we have requested as part of the water restrictions notice we issued. However, we trust that our customers will continue using water sparingly,” says Tshwane municipality spokesman, Selby Bokaba.
Property owners were urged not fill their swimming pools, wash their vehicles with hosepipes or water their gardens between 6am and 6pm.
According to bylaws, the municipality can give spot fines to people who do not complying with water restrictions.
“Water security begins and ends at the individual level. The issue is not only how much water we have; it is also a matter of how people understand what water security means in their daily lives, especially considering that the governance and distribution of water are challenged,” water scientist at the CSIR, Dr Richard Meissner says.
According to South African Weather Service forecaster Madimetja Thema, the heatwave, which is due to an El Niño weather pattern, is caused by a “strong high-pressure system”, and the weather pattern is moving over the northern and north-eastern parts of the country, creating the heatwave.
“Heatwaves in South Africa are not unusual during the spring and summer seasons. A heatwave is a prolonged period of excessive heat. Technically, a heatwave occurs when temperatures for a place are 5°C or more above the average of the hottest month of that place, and that carries on for three days or more,” he says.
SA Weather Service
Manager: External Communications
Tel: 012 367 6000
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Tshwane municipality Spokesperson
Words: Leandi Cameron