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27 Feb 2020 | 07:04 AM UTC

South Africa: Water shortage leads to protests in Barberton (Mpumalaganga Province) February 26

Water shortage prompts protests in Barberton (Mpumalaganga Province) February 26; further protests likely in the near future

environment
security
ZAF

Event

On Wednesday, February 26, residents of Barberton (Mpumalaganga Province) protested for the fourth consecutive week against a water shortage that is affecting the area. According to media sources, the water shortage is a result of the ongoing drought affecting the region. Additional protests remain possible.

A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are anticipated near any demonstration site.

Context

South Africa is one of the top 30 most water-scarce countries in the world; in 2019, dam levels across the country reportedly dropped by ten to 60 percent compared to 2018.

Cape Town is regularly affected by water shortages. Water restrictions have been in place in Cape Town since 2005 but have become increasingly strict since December 2015.

Advice

Individuals in South Africa - and in Mpumalaganga Province especially - are advised to conserve water, stock up on bottled water, keep abreast of the situation via local media outlets, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities (e.g. water rationing measures).