Joburg water disruptions see patients transferred from affected hospitals

31 May 2021 - 15:39 By shonisani tshikalange
Hospitals in Johannesburg are experiencing water shortages. Stock photo.
Hospitals in Johannesburg are experiencing water shortages. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Weerapat Kiatdumrong

Gauteng's health department has raised concerns about the knock-on effects of water disruptions in Johannesburg on facilities such as Helen Joseph and Rahima Moosa Mother and Child hospitals.

Provincial health spokesperson  Kwara Kekana said a power failure reported by Rand Water at the weekend affected Johannesburg and Rand West City, Merafong City and Mogale City local municipalities.

It caused reservoirs to run low and affected the supply of water to Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital and Leratong Hospital in the West Rand.

“Furthermore, the ongoing water disruptions at Brixton, Crosby and Hursthill areas continue to affect water supply to the Helen Joseph Hospital and Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital,” she said.

In a tweet on Monday morning, the water supplier said there was a power failure at the Rand Water Eikenhof pump on Saturday. The water supplier said power was partially restored but tripped again on Sunday morning.

“Rand Water is still recovering their systems and therefore the flow from them via the Commando Road meter feeding the Crosby, Hursthill and Brixton reservoirs are still low. We are expecting this to improve during the day. We have, however, managed to start one pump to pump water from the Brixton reservoir to the tower. Thus, the Brixton tower supply area should start getting water but at low pressure,” said Rand Water on Monday.

Kekana said engagements had taken place with various stakeholders in a bid to find a lasting solution to the ongoing water supply problem.

“As an interim measure, provision is always made to supply affected facilities with water tankers. However, given that health facilities require tonnes of water to perform various services, and the need for a sustained supply of water, the stopgap measure only allows for limited service provision,” she said.

Kekana said since last week, the management of Helen Joseph and Rahima Moosa hospitals had attempted to alleviate some of the pressure from the two worst affected facilities by transferring some patients to other hospitals and performing some theatre operations at sister hospitals.

“As of this morning, parts of Chris Hani Baragwanath are without water, with low pressure in some areas, while Leratong Hospital water supply has been restored, albeit with low pressure.”

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