• Companies that provide rental toilets were scrambling to meet demand in parts of Johannesburg on Tuesday.
  • Some water suppliers also reported a run on their stocks.
  • A power outage at a key pumping station caused a water outage for big parts of the city, due to be fixed only overnight. 

Water and rental toilet businesses were inundated with calls on Tuesday, after the west of Johannesburg (and parts of the south) experienced water shortages.

An explosion at a substation on Monday caused an outage at the Rand Water Eikenhof Pumping Station, a key part of Johannesburg's water system. That left residents in the south-west Rand area, parts of Soweto, and the business hubs of Randburg and Auckland Park, without water.

Belinda Vrese, a franchise owner of water stores Oasis Water in Northcliff says "a lot of people have been coming in. We normally open at 8AM but we came in at 7AM in light of the water shortage – and already found customers waiting to go into the store." The store had already run out of inventory by midday, and was waiting for fresh supplies.

The Loads of Water store in Birnam, Melrose, reported a big spike in calls, especially orders for five-litre bottles of water.

"It's been a hectic morning," said Jay de Jongh, the owner of Fancy Flush Toilet Hire. His phone had been ringing off the hook, he said, with offices in the Roodepoort and surrounding south-west area eager to get through the day without having to send staff home.

"We don't have enough toilets and are running out quickly," de Jongh said.

Ryno Jacobs, the owner of Hire R Us, a rental toilet supplier from Pretoria, said he was waiting for the return of toilets to recirculate them into Johannesburg.

By midday work was furiously underway at the electricity substation, with City Power promising to restore power to the crucial water pumps overnight.

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