Water and Sanitation Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu has assured South Africans that the current water shortage was receiving the ‘highest level of attention’ from government.

However, she also warned citizens to use water sparingly before the situation worsened.

Sisulu gave an update on Monday afternoon on the current water demand and its immediate impact on consumers.

“There is no need to panic. We just all need to be prudent with water,” the minister said.

Sisulu added that the country was facing high temperatures, which had an impact on water demand.

“Climate change is a reality and it’s affecting SA in this way. I’m informed by my advisers [that the] earliest we can experience rain is December, so we are in for a long dry season.”

The minister also said if citizens abided by the water restrictions, there wouldn’t be a need for water shedding. 

Rand Water CEO Sipho Mosai, who joined Sisulu at the briefing, said the country used 5,000 megalitres of water per day, which was above the international average of 4,368 megalitres.

“The water that we are consuming has shot up to more than what we should be consuming,” Mosai said.

Rand Water supplies Gauteng and parts of Free State, Mpumalanga and North West, including Rustenburg.

He said they have been calling on the public to use water sparingly but to no avail. This has forced Rand Water to impose water restrictions such as switching off the sprinkler systems, reducing the amount of time to shower to two minutes and switching off the tap when shaving or brushing teeth.

Eastern Cape and Limpopo were other provinces hit by water scarcity.

“We appeal to all our people: please ensure you use water wisely to sustain supply that we have,” the minister said. 

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