Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda pledges to tackle Joburg’s water crisis

City of Johannesburg Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda delivered his 2024 State of the City Address (SOCA) at the council in Braamfontein on Thursday. Picture: Kamogelo Moichela/IOL

City of Johannesburg Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda delivered his 2024 State of the City Address (SOCA) at the council in Braamfontein on Thursday. Picture: Kamogelo Moichela/IOL

Published May 2, 2024


Johannesburg Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda has again assured residents that the water challenges will soon be a thing of the past, following a Water Security Strategy that the city has implemented and approved.

According to the mayor, the plan is intended to guide Johannesburg's transition into a water-secure and water-sensitive municipality.

It received endorsement and was approved by the Mayoral Committee on October 31.

“The Water Security Strategy is geared towards addressing threats to the City’s urban water cycle while also capitalising on opportunities to transform Johannesburg into a sustainable, resilient, and adaptive city.

“With seven strategic responses and 67 action plans developed for both short and long-term implementation, the strategy aims to ensure sustainable water management and future water security,” he said.

Gwamanda delivered his State of the City Address (SOCA) on Thursday at the Johannesburg Council in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

His 2024 address was themed “Building a Stable and Resilient City government, in service of the people.”

Beginning of this year, the city suffered blows from closed pipes, lightning strikes on the pump stations as well as theft.

Residents mostly relied on water tankers as the city was hard at work to ensure that the water supply was maintained.

While the crisis sparked anger in residents, Gwamanda said they acknowledged the water challenges as well as the rapid rise in water demand but stressed that there was an urgent need to control and manage the demand to create reliability and sustainability in the supply environment.

“Besides pioneering initiative, we must assess the impact of these demands in terms of carrying capacity and the necessary diversification of local water supply,” he said.

During his speech, Gwamanda emphasised the need to arrest the soaring levels of non-revenue water within the City.

“This is an urgent matter and requires an immediate intervention and we are pleased that our recent engagements with the Minister of Water and Sanitation have provided a solid commitment for partnership in investment into the water infrastructure of Johannesburg,” he said.

He also reminded the residents that it was their responsibility to report water leaks in the streets and urgently fix those within their yards.

The mayor mentioned that Johannesburg Water has a publicized backlog of R27 billion in infrastructure investment required to fully cater to the demands of the City.

Despite limited resources available, the City has several notable projects currently in implementation and whose completion will provide meaningful relief to residents in the City.

“I am most excited that the Brixton and Crosby bulk infrastructure projects which have a combined investment value of R512 million are progressing well and will help us resolve the challenges of the Commando water system,” he said.

He further promised a safer and more conducive environment for the people.

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