News Article

Load shedding putting more strain on drought stricken Nelson Mandela Bay water system

Published: January 25, 2023


The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s water distribution system is taking strain due to the current load shedding. This exacerbates the already dire situation caused by the drought in the region. 

The load shedding at the Churchill water treatment plant yesterday compromised the water output to consumers. This has contributed to a water shortfall that is already in the system as a result of the prolonged drought and raw water restrictions. Most of the Emerald Hill zone is affected by the lack of continuous production at Churchill as a result of load shedding. 

For the past five years significant rainfall has evaded the City’s catchment areas, a situation that has resulted in a drastically decreased combined dam level of a mere 14 percent. This situation has already led to intermittent water supply to a number of areas, with the Western Suburbs the hardest hit.

The crisis with load shedding has rubbed salt into the wounds by negatively affecting the water distribution to the City’s reservoirs.

As much as the City has worked out a plan to cushion the water intake into the reservoirs, as well as for storage and distribution to the consumers, the severity of load shedding has put strain on the system.

"As the City we are working around the clock to use our existing infrastructure to re-route water to the strained areas for the reservoirs to fill up, however the high consumption remains a challenge. We continue to interact with Eskom so that we can improve our systems to improve the situation to be much more stable,” said Nelson Mandela Bay Water Distribution Director Joseph Tsatsire.

This is currently affecting the recovery of the Emerald Hill reservoir that is at 3%. This challenge has now extended to the Heatherbank reservoir that is currently at 9%, Lovemore Heights at 7% and Lovemore Tower at 16%, extending the affected areas to include Charlo. 

Water distribution challenges also remain in the Greenbushes and St Albans area as the Chelsea reservoir is sitting at 11%. There is therefore no water and/or low pressure in some areas of Greenbushes/St Albans. Alternative connections off the Kwanobuhle line is being finalised to secure water distribution to the St Albans Correctional Facility.

Water trucks are being mobilised for all affected areas.

Areas affected by the Chelsea and Emerald Hill reservoirs include:


1. Walmer 

2. Walmer Township 

3. Walmer Downs 

4. Walmer Heights 

5. Mangold Park 

6. Parts of Central 

7. Glen Hurd 

8. Glendinningvale 

9. Pari Park, Glendore Rd 

10. Perridgevale 

11. Adcockvale 

12. Newton Park 

13. Parsons Hill 

14. Greenacres 

15. Greenacres Hospital 

16. Parts of Cotswold 

17. Richmond Hill 

18. Parts of Schauderville 

19. Linkside 

20. Mill Park 

21. Mount Croix 

22. Mount Pleasant/Miramar 

23. Overbaakens 

24. Willowdene 

25. Greenshields Park 

26. Parts of Theescombe 

Affected areas in the Heatherbank & Lovemore Heights reservoir zone include: 

1. Robert Searle Park 

2. Charlo, Bog Farm 

3. Broadwood

4. Springfield 

5. Mount Pleasant 

6. Overbaakens 

7. Pinelands 

8. Willowdene 

9. Lovemore Heights 

10. Lovemore Park 

11. Theescombe/Pari Park 

12. Pine Village 

13. Lorraine Manor 

14. Heatherbank 

15. Mount Pleasant/Providentia 

16. Salisbury ParkThe City calls on residents and businesses to drastically decrease their water usage

This will also give space and time for the dried up reservoirs to fill up and give out a stable water distribution to the affected residents and businesses.  

Issued by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Communications Office. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact Communications and Media Management Officer, Mthubanzi Mniki at 041 506 1555/071 381 3779 or e-mail

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