In September 2021, Gauteng, South Africa experienced a blackout stemming from a bush fire that damaged ESKOM’s power transmission line, which supplies power to key water infrastructure assets. As a result, Rand Water’s Zuikerbosch facility was reduced to approximately 40% capacity and impacted surrounding areas that include Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Mogale, Rustenburg, and the Westrand. Reports indicate that the disruptions could persist for two more years. The event highlights the interdependency between critical infrastructure segments—water and power—and the potential risks to water services customers.
In this Research Note:
- Ongoing curtailments of power supplies undermine South Africa, Rand Water
- Interconnection between water and electricity exposes utilities
- Outlook for water management in South Africa hinges on new actions