News Article

Nelson Mandela Bay is running out of water

Published: February 07, 2020



Statement by Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Acting Executive Mayor, Councillor Thsonono Buyeye

Nelson Mandela Bay is facing the reality of running out of water (Nelson Mandela Bay runs dry) with a number of areas already starting to experience water shortages. As a result, urgent action must be taken in order to contain the situation.

Dam levels have dropped below 29%, due to short rainfalls, water leaks and scorching weather conditions, and the City’s storage capacity can no longer meet consumer demands. Although the City is currently operating in terms of the conditions imposed by Water Restriction Notice No 7, the situation is not improving. Consumers still continue to use water way above the expected and required percentage.

Currently, the overall consumption is 300 megalitres, which is way above the expected consumption rate of 250 megalitres per day. This actually means that most households use more than the 50 litres per person per day allocation. Under the circumstances, a drastic reduction in water usage is indicated. To avoid the catastrophic situation of RUNNING DRY, the City has decided to embark on a "business unusual approach”.

A massive water leaks repair programme will be implemented to cut down on water wastage. This process will include acquiring the services of seven plumbing contractors to augment the current staff complement. Through the office of the Chief Operating Officer, a strict monitoring system is being developed to monitor and evaluate the work to be done.

All procurement processes in relation to water saving measures and the improvement of our distribution system will be prioritised.

I have instructed the Acting City Manager to urgently convene the relevant committees so that they can deal with all urgent procurement processes. The implementation of these drastic efforts to save water cannot be delayed any longer.

It must be emphasised that in all these efforts to fast track procurement processes, strict adherence to law and the following of legal supply chain processes will be monitored closely to prevent and guard against corruption seeping in.

The municipality will embark on a robust awareness campaign. This campaign will focus on high users, like manufacturing industries, schools and hospitality industry. More focus will also be given to municipal employees and facilities. As a clear indication of our efforts, I have advised the City Manager to start a process of switching off all the taps from our ablution facilities. Employees will only use hand sanitizers. I have also advised that the municipality have a dedicated team within facilities management to deal with water leaks in municipal buildings.

All these efforts seek to cut down on the consumption levels to save the little water sources left as we do not foresee improvement in rain fall in the near future.


  • Use 50 litres per person per day.
  • Take 2 minute showers
  • Do not let the tap run when washing your teeth, use a cup
  • Do not use hosepipe to wash cars
  • At work and at home make sure you close the tap and report any leaks immediately.
  • Use grey water to for irrigation and washing cars,
  • Grey water can also be sourced through our boreholes, call 0800205050 for location of boreholes.

We continue to engage the department of Water and Sanitation to assist where we can in the rehabilitation of the canal that will assist us to augment our supply by 40 megalitres a day. More solutions to circumvent the situation will be communicated in due course. I would like to thank the residents, businesses and stakeholders for the cooperation they have displays during this period.

Issued by Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Communications Office. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact Communications and Media Management Officer, Mthubanzi Mniki at 0713813779

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