The department of water in August asked municipalities to cut water supply by 15% to preserve dam levels.
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa will experience water rationing if consumers do not heed calls to cut consumption to avoid a collapse of the water system as dam levels fall after a drought, an official in the country's water department said on Thursday.
Concerns over water supply in Africa's most industrialised country have risen after an El Nino weather pattern brought drought conditions to much of southern Africa, hurting agriculture output.
The department of water in August asked municipalities to cut water supply by 15 percent to preserve dam levels, but said the response had been poor.
Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said last week failure to cut water use would "trigger the next level of interventions" to avoid the collapse of the water system.
Asked what the next level would be, the minister's spokesman Mlimandlela Ndamase said: "The next level will be rationing, which in turn has consequence referred to as shedding...The urgency of saving 15 percent cannot be over emphasized. It is critical."
The water supply disruptions would be akin to