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SA’s broken water infrastructure a ticking time bomb

There are growing concerns around access to water and sanitation in many communities across the country, with many issues pointing to aging infrastructure and the poor maintenance thereof.

JOHANNESBURG – As residents in Gauteng brace themselves for 54-hour water cuts by Rand Water, and some in the North West have been subjected to brown, murky water coming out of their taps – an infrastructure expert said South Africa’s aging water infrastructure was a ticking time bomb.

Gundo Maswime, a lecturer in the civil engineering department at the University of Cape Town, said municipalities could not afford to maintain their water infrastructure.

He said rural provinces such as North West, Limpopo, and the Eastern Cape were also culprits of appointing unqualified people to manage this service.

Maswime said the problem did not lie with legislation, adding that the country’s legislative and policy framework were adequate, but there were bold decisions that must be taken by government.