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Department to brief Parliament on drought crisis

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The Department of Water and Sanitation will brief the portfolio committee in Parliament about the status of the drought in South Africa on Wednesday.

The department is expected to reveal its strategies and interventions in respect of the drought and the disbursement of relief to provinces.

This comes as the country faces a burgeoning water crisis that has depleted many municipalities and the agriculture sector since last year.

A number of farmers around the country have spoken about the challenges they were facing due to the water shortages.

Earlier this month, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said an estimated 6 500 stand-alone rural communities were currently experiencing water shortages, mostly in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and North West provinces.

She said this number could increase to more than 11 000 rural communities as local water reserves depleted and the dry period continued.

So far, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State have been declared drought disaster areas.

Mokonyane added that in badly affected areas such as the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal, southern parts of Mpumalanga, and parts of Limpopo, North West and the Northern Cape, about 50% of local water storage was problematic and could become critical if not managed carefully.

On Monday, the City of Johannesburg announced level two water restrictions for the city. News24

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