Nomvula Mokonyane. Picture: THE TIMES
Nomvula Mokonyane. Picture: THE TIMES

Up to 17 of SA’s major storage dams in seven provinces were below 35% capacity in December, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said in a written reply to Parliament.

The minister detailed the worrying state of some of the major dams in the country when replying to a question by DA MP Ross Purdon. The troubled dams supply a combined 25 municipalities.

Provinces with dams at less than 35% capacity were in the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Eastern Cape, North West and the Northern Cape. Municipalities affected include Mangaung Metro in the Free State and Polokwane local municipality.

Mokonyane told Parliament in her written reply that the department was assisting municipalities with water preservation measures, which had led to a reduction in the demand for water in those areas.

"My department develops annual operating rules which include drought restrictions rules. Joint operations committees are established to monitor progress on the implementation of water restrictions and advice provided on further interventions where necessary," Mokonyane said.

Among the worst affected dams was Kalkfontein dam, which was at 3.7% of capacity. Kalkfontein supplies Kopanong local municipality in the Free State. Flag Boshielo Dam, which supplies Polokwane, was at 17.7%.

Affected municipalities have adopted various measures, including bulk meters, water rationing and the monitoring of minimum night flows.

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