Cape Town - This weekend the Vaal Dam was at full capacity as the department of water and sanitation opened two sluice gates, optimistically estimating that the country could recover from the recent droughts within the next two to three years.
The Vaal Dam was just over 97% on Sunday, as Gauteng has reached 90,2% of its water storage capacity - with water restrictions expected to be eased in the province.
UPDATE - On Monday morning, 27 February the department of water and sanitation confirmed the Vaal Dam was officially at 100% - the first time in six years.
ALSO SEE: Water restrictions to be lifted in Gauteng
SEE: Weekend Wrap: Vaal overflows, Solar eclipse hits SA and Rio carnival off to odd start
Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, on Sunday held a media briefing at the dam in Deneysville in the Free State, confirming that despite the recovery nationally water restrictions would remain in place, especially in the areas that have not benefited from the heavy rains such as the Northern, Western and Eastern Cape.
ALSO SEE: Western Cape Water crisis: 129 days of useable water left as dams dip 1.7%
Mokonyane warned that as there is still a possible impact of flooding, particularly for the town of Douglas and the farming community downstream of the town.
"We continue to request that all those along the Orange &Vaal Rivers be critically aware of the possible rise in the levels of the two rivers"
This image shared to Twitter by ReenValSA shows just how far the Vaal Dam has come since October last year.
The department posted the following video showing the two sluice gates being opened on Sunday. Mokonyane stated the "deferred release from the Vaal Dam would be guided by the daily readings in the days to come".
Mokonyane says that most dams and systems are showing recovery at different levels, with a total of 57 dams across SA above 100%. Overall the department monitors 211 dams. And while SA's drought outcome is looking good, 13 dams are below 10%, with 33 between 10 – 40%.
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