PRETORIA– The latest report on dam levels in South Africa paints a picture of a stable water situation across the country but the Department of Water and Sanitation has warned that the country is not out of the woods yet.

Recent rains in parts of the country have given hope that perhaps the days of the water crisis may be over, even though it is too early to consider lifting water restrictions in affected provinces, the department said in a statement here Wednesday.

A weekly report released by the department on Wednesday shows that South Africa’s dam levels are showing signs of stability at 78.7 per cent of capacity, compared with this time last year when they were at 69.7 per cent during the drought which had ravaged the country.

Gauteng, South Africa’s smallest but most populous province, tops the charts, with levels of dam supplying the province almost reaching their capacity at 99.7 per cent, indicating the great improvement in the province compared with 2017 when the levels were at 90.2 per cent.

The Vaal Dam is among the water resources which have recorded the highest levels in the country at 97.6 per cent. The dam has improved by three percentage points compared with 2017 when it was at 94.0 per cent capacity.

The heavy downfalls in Western Cape, the province which has been affected by the recent drought, have increased dam levels there to a whopping 50.1 per cent this week, compared with 25.7 per cent at this time last year.

Levels at Theewaterskloof Dam, which feeds Cape Town, South Africa’s second biggest metropolitan area, have almost doubled to 41.3 per cent, compared with 20.5 per cent a year ago.

However, despite the good rains, the department said it will only review the current water restrictions in Western cape Province when the dam levels have reached 85 per cent capacity.

The Cape Town Dams System, with six dams serving the Cape Town Metro, has also seen their average capacity levels increasing from 54.8 per cent to 56.1 per cent. More rains are predicted for the region.

Eastern Cape Province was the worst province with the lowest dam levels in the country at 62.9 per cent.

The Algoa System, with five dams serving the Nelson Mandela Bay metro, saw average levels dropping from 19.7 per cent to a perilous 18.9 per cent. Last year, the system stood at 32.9 per cent capacity.

The department reminded consumers to continue adhering to water restrictions imposed by their respective municipalities.