Let’s join forces to prevent our taps from running dry



Let’s join forces to prevent our taps from running dry

Dear Chamber Member

The water crisis facing Nelson Mandela Bay is an emergency and requires urgent intervention and action from all stakeholders – including business. While the lack of rain and resultant low dam levels have been a factor contributing to the water crisis, there are a number of other issues that have exacerbated the situation.

These include the lack of accountability and urgency from municipal leadership in dealing with water issues, budget and procurement bottlenecks, lack of investment and maintenance of infrastructure, qualified engineers no longer being employed by the municipality, and non-revenue water losses amounting to 40% of total supply – of which 29% comprises leaks and 11% commercial losses. We believe that day zero is an avoidable situation as the quota the Metro receives via the Nooitgedacht scheme is 209 million litres per day (mld), while 81mld is lost due to leaks and 30.8mld to unauthorised consumption.

Until recently the metro was consuming around 285mld per day, with around 173mld representing actual consumption levels and the balance representing inefficiencies in the system and infrastructure.

While we will continue to collaborate with the authorities to ensure that the right actions are taken especially with regards to reining in the extent of leaks, as a business community we need to do everything within our control to prevent a day zero from happening. Here are some practical actions which we are urging businesses to take:

  •  Volunteer resources to support the Chamber’s Accelerated Leaks initiative. Email nicki@nmbusinesschamber.co.za
    Reduce in-building wastage and water leaks (a number of businesses have reported that they were surprised at the number of leaks found at their own premises).
  • Adopt schools and clinics, via our Adopt A School initiative, targeting those located in the red zones (i.e. the areas of the Metro which is most impacted by the water crisis). Water leaks at schools account for 10% of the overall amount of water lost in the Metro due to leaks. If you are interested contact Prince Matonsi at operations@nmbbusinesschamber.co.za
  • Install aerators at your own operations and also in schools and at community venues.
  • Adopt rainwater and stormwater harvesting measures at your operations.
  • Replace normal taps with push-button taps.
    Support your employees to install water tanks and implement other measures at their homes.
  • Report water billing inaccuracies to the Municipality by e-mailing jannette@edams.co.za.
  • Report water leaks to the Chamber’s Help Desk at helpdesk@nmbbusinesschamber.co.za
  • On-site treatment and re-use of wastewater and or only greywater particularly for industrial users can be implemented in less than a month and can make a huge impact. If you are an industrial / manufacturing business who is interested in pursuing this route contact
  • Lance Wightman at Schaeffler for more information - lance.wightman@schaeffler.com
    Support Gift of the Givers in aiding communities. Contact Prince Matonsi at operations@nmbbusinesschamber.co.za
    We urge you, no matter whether your business is small or big, to please get involved in helping to prevent Nelson Mandela Bay’s taps from running dry. It is not too late, if we all join forces and move with purpose and speed to take action where we can.

Yours sincerely,

Denise van Huyssteen
Chief Executive Officer