Connect with us


More than half of South Africa’s drinking water not compliant – Reveals report



South Africa's drinking water

More than half of South Africa’s drinking water is not compliant with chemical water quality standards, as revealed in the Department of Water & Sanitation’s preliminary reports on the Green, Blue, and No Drop Watch Reports presented on Tuesday.

According to DispatchLIVE, the Blue Drop Watch Report, which assesses the condition of water distribution infrastructure and drinking water quality, found that only 17% of water systems achieved an “excellent status” regarding chemical compliance with the South African National Standards (SANS 241). A staggering 55% of tested water systems were rated “in a bad status,” indicating non-compliance with the standards.

According to Sean Phillips, the department’s director-general, 11 municipalities failed to report water quality data during the audit period or provide evidence of testing their water quality. Non-compliance notices have been issued to these municipalities, mandating them to give advisory notices to residents about the potential safety concerns of their drinking water.

The Western Cape emerged as the top-performing province regarding water quality, with 14 out of the 27 tested water supply systems ranked as excellent and five rated as good. However, Tshwane, which recently experienced a cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal, resulting in multiple fatalities, fell short of the required standards. The Temba water treatment plant supplying the area achieved a chemical compliance rate of 80.2%, below the desired 97-99% for a good status. Consequently, Tshwane issued a “do not drink” notice to residents as a precautionary measure.

Also read: Johannesburg Water monitors critical state of South Hills tower


The upcoming full Blue Drop report, expected in July, will encompass all the water supply systems in Tshwane and other municipalities in Gauteng. The current report only sampled one system per water supply area, limiting the overall assessment of water quality in the region.

The Green Drop Watch Report, on the other hand, focuses on wastewater systems. In 2022, 90 municipalities scored below 30%, prompting the issuance of non-compliance notices by the department. However, as of March this year, corrective action plans had been received for only 168 out of 334 wastewater systems. Of the 90 municipalities, 43 requested support from the department in developing corrective action plans. The department filed criminal charges against some municipalities that failed to submit the required plans and issued directives compelling compliance with the National Water Act.

These reports highlight the pressing need for improved water quality management and infrastructure maintenance across the country to ensure the delivery of safe drinking water to all residents.

Also read:

Six Months and Counting: Joburg Water Yet to Resolve Road Repair


Picture: Unsplash / Swanky Fella

Follow us on Google News.

Continue Reading