The epileptic power supply in South Africa has led to the shortage of water as taps run dry in cities like Johannesburg and Pretoria, according to BBC.
Sipho Mosai, the head of state-owned Rand Water, one of the country’s main water providers said the country’s electricity woes, with regular lengthy scheduled blackouts hit hard on the people.
The report said wealthy individuals are resorting to private boreholes as the best alternatives to taps, naming Garsfontein as one of the places.
“All of our stations, they need electricity, they need power. You have to pump water everywhere where it is needed,” said Mosai.
South Africans are reportedly frustrated as much of the domestic water supply depends on electricity to pump it from the source to the vast high plain on which the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria sit, BBC said.
“I am tired of not knowing when we will have water and when we won’t,” the frustrated homeowner revealed.
“Having a borehole means we won’t have to depend on the government so much, it’s what’s best for my family.”
“Electricity is really at the heartbeat of what we do and if we don’t have it externally, at least for now, it becomes a problem.”
“Some days I don’t have both water and electricity, and this can be for days at a time. It makes daily life insufferable,” says Zizi Dlanga, a 35-year-old private wealth manager.
Dlanga narrated that she lives in a two-bedroom apartment in an affluent suburb in the north of Johannesburg with her sister who is a trainee doctor.
However, with the current power and water crisis, she has shifted to stocking up on water when it is available and going to a gym to take a shower.
“My water bill stays the same even with all the cuts. I feel frustrated, I don’t have access to water alternatives [like a borehole] that would make this bearable for me,” she added.
There are, of course, millions of South Africans who have lived without having water piped into their homes for years. But the intermittent domestic supply is just one aspect of a multi-pronged problem facing the water industry.
“We are in a state of systemic failure, the water sector is collapsing,” expert Prof Anthony Turton told the BBC.
The lack of electricity has aggravated issues created by poorly maintained infrastructure, which has led to vast leaks as well as sewage problems, and a supply of water that cannot meet demand.
Seventy million litres of treated, clean, drinkable water are lost every single day because of leaks that are endemic in the crumbling water system.
Most of the water wastage identified has been linked to badly run municipalities that are not investing in maintenance, partly because of corruption and theft.