The possibility of nationwide water-shedding

SA is already using 98% of its available water supply and 40% of our waste-water treatment is in a “critical state”. Moreover, a survey conducted by the department in 2010 indicates that 60% of the country’s water service authorities do not have the right permits for their treatment works.

There are fresh warnings today about the possibility of nationwide water-shedding caused by infrastructure neglect and the natural resources available in South Africa.

Engineering consulting firm Gibb held a roundtable today about the water situation in the country, looking at both the problem and the required solutions.

The firm’s Wiero Vogelzang says, “Water-shedding is a reality that we’re going to have to accept at some stage. The level of it is going to be different in different areas.”

While load-shedding continues, there is an even more worrying prospect ahead: water-shedding. Like the energy crisis, the abysmal state of water in SA is a combination of at least three factors: resource depletion (and contamination), growing demand and inefficient infrastructure.

Rainfall levels are dropping quickly due to climate change. A recent study published by the World Economic Forum says droughts this century will become more recurrent and severe than in the previous millennium. Over the summer holidays, for instance, eThekwini municipality took the unprecedented decision of asking residents and holiday makers to drastically reduce water consumption to avoid systemic cutbacks, given that the Hazelmere Dam had reached dramatically low levels because of prolonged drought.

SA is already using 98% of its available water supply and 40% of our waste-water treatment is in a “critical state”. Moreover, a survey conducted by the department in 2010 indicates that 60% of the country’s water service authorities do not have the right permits for their treatment works. A recent government report suggests the state should spend almost R300bn over the next four years to avoid a full-scale water crisis, which is roughly more than 100 times the budget allocated by the Treasury to water management nationwide.

The Funny thing about Load Shedding

Did you hear about that joke of a President, the Electrical Company Director and Energy Minister was in a meeting when the lights cut off. The Secretary ran into the boardroom and exclaimed, “so sorry sir its load shedding”. They all looked at her in amazement as if she was deluded.

loadsheddingDid you hear about that joke of a President, the Electrical Company Director and Energy Minister was in a meeting when the lights cut-off. The Secretary ran into the boardroom and exclaimed, “so sorry sir its load shedding”. They all looked at her in amazement as if she was deluded.

Is that not hilarious? The punch line is the fact that currently Johannesburg coined its slogan, “A World Class City in Africa” may just be as primitive as the Bronze Age. It takes a World Class City to have the luxury to switch on a light. South African do have light switches…yes, fancy expensive ones but no electricity.jozi

This World Class City does not know how to produce enough electricity for all South Africa. Since 2008, load shedding has cost the economy an estimated R300 billion. Thousands have lost their jobs as businesses have had to scale down, or scale back on investments. In addition to this, the international reputation as an investment destination has been seriously damaged by the government’s inability to service the country’s energy needs.

The funny thing about load shedding is that the electric gates, fences and CCTV cameras are all affected. Most foreigners don’t realise that load shedding means that even the traffic signals don’t work. The property I’m currently residing at has biometric scanners and the latest technology in security – all dependent on Electricity. I don’t like to imagine what could be the consequences of a robbery or an invasion from a neighbouring country?

In this World Class City Electricity is NOT a basic need only a luxury.

Power Cuts Harm South African Factory Output

The Pound Sterling to South African Rand exchange rate firmed to a session high of 18.2660 on Tuesday as the UK markets re-opened following the bank holiday weekend and as domestic data out of Africa’s most developed economy weighed upon the Rand. Ongoing worries over electricity supplies, civil unrest and a weakening economy also continued to put pressure on the South African Rand.

The main cause for the decline in manufacturing activity was blamed on the amount of power cuts being implemented by utility company Eskom. With South Africa’s power grid under immense strain, the power company has been forced to introduce load shedding and rolling black outs. With winter coming in the southern hemisphere, demand for electricity is set to increase. 

The South African Rand is expected to remain under pressure against its major peers as concerns over anticipated strikes in the gold mining and public sectors look set to increase.