Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu sounds the alarm over excessive water consumption in Gauteng. In a recent interview with Newzroom Afrika, Mchunu revealed that residents of the province use up to 300 litres of water per person per day, far above the global average of 173 litres as reported by The Citizen.
While the country faces a water shortage, Mchunu believes that consumption patterns must be addressed. He is particularly concerned about infrastructure, urging the national department, Rand Water, and municipalities to upgrade their storage and distribution systems. In Gauteng, leaks account for 20-25% of water loss, creating a significant obstacle to providing reliable water to everyone.
The government’s failure to allocate sites properly for informal settlements compounds the problem. As these settlements expand, the water demand grows, making it difficult to catch up with the deficit even with higher efficiency levels.
However, Mchunu remains optimistic about the future. Rand Water will invest R28 billion in constructing reservoirs in Gauteng by 2028, increasing the number of reservoirs from 62 to 72. Municipalities are also building their own, providing a total storage capacity of over 7,000 mega-litres daily.
Mchunu urges residents to use water sparingly, emphasizing that dams being filled does not mean water should be wasted. By working together to address infrastructure and consumption issues, the government and citizens of Gauteng can ensure a reliable water supply for generations to come.
Photo: Facebook / @Senzo Mchunu