Ka­roo drought crip­pling busi­nesses on N1, team to re­port back

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - METRO - TSHEGO LEPULE

THE wa­ter cri­sis in towns along the N1 in the Ka­roo con­tin­ues to crip­ple the lo­cal economies as hol­i­day­mak­ers mak­ing their way home avoid the ar­eas due to the short­ages.

MEC for Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment An­ton Bre­dell said they were ex­pect­ing a pre­lim­i­nary re­port from a task team formed to come up with a num­ber of so­lu­tions to mit­i­gate the drought’s ef­fects.

Bre­dell said wa­ter lev­els were crit­i­cal in the towns of Beau­fort West, Laings­berg and Prince Al­bert, all si­t­u­ated along the busy N1 high­way.

“The task team will re­port back on Mon­day (to­mor­row) and their task was to come up with im­me­di­ate, short-, medium- and long-term so­lu­tions to the drought,” he said.

“In Beau­fort West, they de­pend on two sources for wa­ter sup­ply, with the recla­ma­tion plant sup­ply­ing 16% while the reser­voirs make up the re­main­ing 84%.

“Part of the task team’s job is to es­tab­lish why the bore­holes have dried up. Of the 40 that they have, 17 dried up, 16 are on the edge of do­ing so and only seven are okay.

“We also need to look at the broader Ka­roo as well. Prince Al­bert, Laings­burg, all of them are along a busy road, and Laings­burg in par­tic­u­lar is run­ning out of wa­ter.

“We are cur­rently trans­port­ing 17 000 litres there, as well as wa­ter tanks.

“But we also need long-term so­lu­tions to is­sues such as the en­force­ment of wa­ter us­age and losses and cur­rently Beau­fort West is sit­ting at around 40% while Laings­burg is at 60%. So is­sues such as ac­count­ing sys­tems and me­ter reg­u­la­tions are a ne­ces­sity.”

Beau­fort West mu­nic­i­pal man­ager, Kosie Haarhoff said the town would con­tinue to cut wa­ter sup­ply as a means of stretch­ing the lit­tle re­sources they have un­til they have a long-term plan in place.

“We still have wa­ter shed­ding and we have di­vided the town into two zones that have their wa­ter cut off at two dif­fer­ent times, the first be­ing from 9am – 12pm for zone 1 and 2pm – 4pm for zone two,” he said.

Man­ager at Beau­fort West Fill­ing Sta­tion Thembi Dube, 33, said busi­nesses con­tin­ued to ex­pe­ri­ence losses as con­sumers took their busi­ness else­where due to the wa­ter short­age.

“We deal a lot with long-dis­tance truck­ers, and when they come to a rest stop they want to be able to use fa­cil­i­ties like bath­rooms and show­ers, and when wa­ter is cut off we can­not of­fer those ser­vices,” he said.

“And that has a big neg­a­tive ef­fect on busi­ness be­cause it means they go else­where where they can get ac­cess to wa­ter.

“We have to close down cer­tain ser­vices when­ever the wa­ter is off, and this is some­thing that hap­pens ev­ery day.”


Goats for­age for food in the now empty Spring­fontein Dam. |

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