Rand Water has invested R300m in emergency power supplies to mitigate its reliance on the power grid to maintain an uninterrupted supply of water. The announcement of the emergency facility comes as the unprotected strike by Eskom workers increased the risk of outages. These also occur regularly as a result of cable theft. Rand Water, a state-owned enterprise under the Department of Water and Sanitation, supplies about 3.7-billion litres of drinkable water per day, chiefly to Gauteng but also further afield, via a network of more than 3,000km of pipes to 58 service reservoirs. Its customers include municipalities, mines and industry. Chief operating officer Sipho Mosai said on Wednesday at the launch of the emergency units in Roodepoort that Rand Water was hoping to supplement its power supply with renewable sources, such as solar energy. "We want to go off-grid," he said. The utility was assessing tender bids from a number of independent power producers. The project to establish an...

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