Being exposed to polluted food or water while travelling is one of the most common causes of sickness for backpackers. Mostly bacteria and parasites enter your body system through tap water therefore, it is essential that you do proper research before every trip checking if is the tap water safe to drink?
Although most places in South Africa do have safe clean water to drink but there are few local places where you will need to take safety measures. If you are unsure, ask the locals or in the hostel you stay at, whether it is the tap water safe to drink or not in their region.
If you are still not satisfied rather depend on bottled water from stores to avoid unnecessary sickness. Below we will outline South African provinces percentages of safe water to assist you get the answer for the question: Is the tap water safe to drink.
South African Water Brief History
According to Wikipedia: For numerous years South Africa was eminent for high-quality drinking water, especially in Africa. However, recently the levels of water pollution have extremely increased due to dysfunctional sewerage plants, poor sewerage management methods and poorly maintained sewerage infrastructure. Resulting in the quality level of drinking water dropping to a noticeable 8%.
Since the tap water quality in South Africa is unpredictable and depends on the location. Therefore, it is advisable for all South Africans and tourists to research the safety levels of drinking water in most locations in the country.
According to recent Blue Drop Report, Gauteng is on the lead of safe drinking water with the highest percentage at 92%, Western Cape at 89%, KwaZulu Natal at 86%, the Free State at 75% and the Eastern Cape at 72%.
On the lower scale of drinking water, Mpumalanga comes in at 69%, Northern Cape at 68%, North West at 63% and lastly, Limpopo seating at 62%.