South Africa leaks 70-million litres daily as water crisis persists

South Africans are urged to use water sparingly as the water crisis persists, leaving the taps and reservoirs running dry and some citizens with little or no water for personal hygiene for days on end.

According to, it is estimated that 70-million litres of treated, clean, drinkable water are lost every day because of thousands of leaks that characterise the country’s strained water piping system.

Thankfully, a recently established group known as Water Crisis Committee has pushed the government to account, and the results are showing. Since June 2022, an emergency response team has managed to fix more than 9 700 leaks.

Kamogelo Mgotsi, spokesperson for minister of water and sanitation, said: “South Africa is a water-scarce country and whilst there are several water sources, these need to be safeguarded to ensure water availability for generations to come.

“Several factors have led to a higher usage of water, ranging from climate change to increased population, thereby placing a strain on some of these sources. Loadshedding has also adversely affected the supply of water, interfering with the operations which go into the treatment and supply of water.”

Mgotsi further said several projects are currently under way to ensure continued and increased water supply in the country. The Lesotho Highlands Water Project is one such project, with phase two about to kick off in anticipation of completion in 2027.

“Rand Water, an entity of the department, [always] carries out routine maintenance on its infrastructure to ensure a continued supply of water, this does at times cause disruptions, but is a necessity.

“As a department, we are working closely with all the stakeholders to ensure that the economic hub of the country is well-supplied.”

Mgotsi further urged South African citizens to always close taps while brushing teeth, take a shower instead of long baths, reusing grey water and being mindful when watering gardens.

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