Spring heat-wave roasts city

Not only is the second week of spring abnormally hot authorities are sounding the alarm that below average rainfall can be expected which will result in prolonged mandatory water restrictions.

According to South African Weather Services meteorologist, Wiseman Dlamini, the interior of the province specifically Pietermaritzburg was experiencing particularly high temperatures since last week. Fortunately though, relief is in sight.

Towards the end of the week temperatures are expected to drop with a possibility of 30% rainfall on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday,” added Dlamini.

With the high temperatures medical facilities have also been on high alert. Victoria Medical Centre’s Dr. Andrea Russell says dehydration is one of the risks associated with high temperatures.

“It is advisable that adequate sun screen is applied and fluids taken to avoid dehydration. When out in the sun make sure that hats and umbrellas are used. Exposure to heat and the sun increases the risk of other serious conditions such as skin cancer,” Dr. Russell cautioned.


Umgeni Water corporate stakeholder manager, Shami Harichunder told Maritzburg Sun that residents should prepare for continued mandatory water restrictions of 15% as a result of below average rainfall.

Earlier in the year the water utility applied for water restrictions to be extended by the Ministry of Water and Sanitation. The application was granted and effective from July 2017.

The current restrictions require that the four municipalities that receive water from the Mgeni system – uMgungundlovu District Municipality, Msunduzi Local Municipality, eThekwini Metro and Ugu District Municipality – must produce savings of 15% and consumers must, in turn, reduce consumption by at least 15%

“The request for water restrictions to be extended was an outcome of a series of meetings of the Mgeni system Joint Operations Committee, the most recent of which was held on Thursday, 12th July 2017, and is in response to concerns over forecasts of below-average rainfall in the coming wet season,” said Harichunder.

He added, “One of factors that influenced the decision to extend restrictions was forecasts by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the South African Weather Service (SAWS) that rainfall in the spring and summer months of 2017/18 are likely to be less than the average received”.

While some dam levels have increased, water resources in the entire system are collectively at approximately 60%.  This suggests that the system has not recovered sufficiently, to a stage where there is adequate water to meet the full demand of the four municipalities.

“Consumers are constantly urged to continue using water sparingly,” advised Harichunder.





Current Dam Levels

System Dam Capacity
Million m3
Percentage Outflow
Mooi/Mgeni System Albert Falls Dam 290.1 25.72 % 4.68 0.0
Inanda Dam 251.6 59.69 % 0.54 0.0
Mearns Dam 5.11 29.91 % 0.0
Midmar Dam 235.4 70.48 % 0.31 0.0
Nagle Dam 24.6 65.45 % 0.0
Spring Grove 139.5 82.19 % 2.02 0.0
North Coast System Hazelmere Dam 17.9 100.68 % 0.11 0.0
Other (Inland) Henley Dam 1.52 101.0 % 0.0
Ixopo Dam 0.56 83.6 % 0.0
South Coast System E.J.Smith Dam 0.98 %
Nungwane Dam 2.22 84.18 % 0.0
Umzinto Dam 0.48 %




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