SA poised for wet Christmas

Johannesburg – The Department of Water and Sanitation says South Africans are poised for a bumper wet Christmas following persistent rains that fell over large parts of the country in the past month.

The latest weekly report by the department shows that the persistent downpours have improved the country’s water situation drastically, with dam levels increasing by two percent from 63,1% to 65% this week.

“The good news is that the drought-stricken Eastern Cape has had its dams stabilised at 50.7% after dropping below half three months ago. The South African Weather Services has predicted a severe thunderstorm in the province on Wednesday and Thursday. Consequently, locals have been warned to prepare for flash floods in certain areas,” the department said in a statement on Wednesday.

Consistent thundershowers have also improved Gauteng’s small dams from 96.15 to 97.4%, making the province the second highest region with sufficient water in the country thus far. Free State leads the pack with 75.1%, a figure that reflects an improvement of 3% after last week’s 72.4%.

Although it dropped by almost 5%, the Northern Cape remains third on the table at 89.8%. The province has not received any rain in the past two weeks.

The rain-prone Mpumalanga improved its dam levels from 64.4% to 66.7% following a consistent rainfall on the Highveld and Lowveld in the past two weeks.

Witbank and Loskop dams on the Highveld recorded 91.8% and 91.5% apiece, while Blyderivierpoort Dam on Lowveld recorded 89.5%.

Limpopo dams went up by one percent from 55.8% to 56.9%, while North West remained stable at 64.2%. The Western Cape continued on its downward slide as its dams dropped from 76% to 74.5%.

The province reached the end of its hydrological cycle of winter rains at the beginning of last month.

KwaZulu-Natal continues to be the recipient of consistent showers that increased the province’s dams to 55.8% this week. The coastal belt, Natal-Midlands and UMkhanyakude and Zululand regions have been saturated with soft rains that raised dam levels considerably.

The department has reiterated its warning to bathers not to resort to flock to dams and rivers as an alternative to beaches.

In a bid to minimise the rapid spread of Coronavirus, last week the government banned swimming at beaches on busy days during the festive season.


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