Sales of jerry cans and JoJo tanks spike as taps run dry

Sales of water tanks‚ jerry cans and pool cover have spiked since water restrictions intensified.

This is according to some of the business people selling these items.

The country has been gripped by drought for more than a year with dam levels low despite recent rains.

The Department of Water and Sanitation last week announced that the national water storage for almost 211 days is below 50% and is still dropping.

With water cuts and more severe restrictions looming South Africans are taking matters into their own hands‚ saving and collecting water where they can.

Joshua Langa ‚ a manager at Builders Express in Craighall Park‚ Johannesburg said JoJo Slimline water tanks and jerry can sales have jumped in recent weeks.

“Urban dwellers don’t have space [for large tanks] so they get 750 litre tanks for the collection of rainwater.

“Some people buy three and connect them together.

“In a week we sell about eight but we’re normally running out of stock. Every time we get stock it goes [straight] to the customers.”

Langa said customers are also buying jerry cans to store water. “When they hear there’s going to be a water cut or something they come and buy these jerry cans.

“[Now] we can sell 15 in a weekend. Before we used to sell maybe three or four.”

Langa said water can be kept in a jerry can for up to six months and used after sterilisation. “Use a spoon of Jik [bleach] and wait for two days. That’s what we do at home in the rural areas‚” he joked.

Another product in demand is the pool cover – it saves water by stopping pool water from evaporating.

With the cost of covers and the fact that they’re selling out like hot cakes‚ people are buying sheets of plastic and approaching businesses to weld them together to fit their swimming pools.

Tim Ellis‚ the owner of Canvasland‚ a company that manufactures and repairs canvas‚ and pool covers said usually no one asks for this service‚ but the business hadn’d been able to keep up with orders today.

Ellis says the plastic must be welded as glue and stitching doesn’t survive the chemicals found in swimming pools.

“Yes‚ we are being inundated. Normally we don’t get any orders for pool blankets. In a week we’ve had about 60 pool covers to be welded.

“At the moment it’s a nightmare getting hold of us.” — TMG Digital


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