But large parts of Buffalo City Metro, in the South East corner of South Africa, from Mdantsane to Bhisho, Dimbaza and King William’s Town have been without water.  East London is fed by a different supply dam, Bridle Drift for which Amatola Water isn’t responsible.  Potable water supply has been affected after union members abandoned their posts at 11 treatment plants last Friday according to DispatchLIVE.  The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) is demanding the sacking of the board chairwoman Nokulunga Mnqeta over allegations of causing chaos, stoking factionalism, and corruption.

The situation is a reminder of the vital nature of water and the importance of critical infrastructure.  360 workers have now suspended their illegal strike following an announcement that the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, will be flying in in an attempt to resolve the situation.  Workers had been on strike last year too.

Andre Dyer, Amatola Water’s service operations manager, has said “The lines to Bhisho and King William’s Town have been cut off.  We suspect water is running out somewhere. We were pumping from Laing Dam, but the reservoirs were not filling up.”

i2O works with JOAT in Africa to provide smart network solutions to water utilities.  Amongst other things the solutions make the network visible (and could help confirm whether a network had been damaged) and enable intermittent supply to be controlled remotely and reliably.