After years of drought, many of South Africa's dams are now so full that sluice gates are being opened to release water.
On Sunday, the sluice gates of the Vaal Dam were opened following a week of rain in Gauteng.
Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane was at the Vaal Dam for the opening of the sluice gates.
Mokonyane warned that while the dam levels were up, it would take "a good few years" for the groundwater levels to recover from the drought.
The increases in most of the dam levels result from the very significant rains over primarily four days of good rains in this past week— Water Sanitation SA (@DWS_RSA) February 26, 2017
Mokonyane: It is also vital to note that the country's groundwater levels remain low and they will take a good few years to recover.— Water Sanitation SA (@DWS_RSA) February 26, 2017
Mokonyane: This in line with our assessments that a full recovery from the drought will be seen in two to three years time. #VaalDam— Water Sanitation SA (@DWS_RSA) February 26, 2017
Mokonyane: pic.twitter.com/GT33f4v6kE— Water Sanitation SA (@DWS_RSA) February 26, 2017
Water restrictions in Gauteng are expected to be lifted; however this must be legally gazetted.
#VaalDam Mokonyane: The current status of the Vaal dam requires the lifting of the water restrictions in Gauteng with immediate effect. TK— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) February 26, 2017
The current status of the IVRS necessitates a consideration around the lifting of the water restrictions we announced for GP immediately— Water Sanitation SA (@DWS_RSA) February 26, 2017
Mokonyane said the Vaal Dam was on Saturday at 94.86 percent of capacity. Johannesburg Water and Gauteng Weather on Sunday said the Vaal was at 97.28 percent.
Mokonyane:As at the 25th of February, the Vaal Dam in particular, increased to 94, 86%; Grootdraai was at 103, 1% and Bloemhof was at 81, 7%— Water Sanitation SA (@DWS_RSA) February 26, 2017
Vaal dam is 97.28% full this morning.Oh heavens can we get small small today just to get to 100%.Thank you in Advance ^H pic.twitter.com/bSnUikPCJh— Johannesburg Water (@JHBWater) February 26, 2017
The drought is not yet regarded as over but the outlook is more positive.
Despite the respite, officials continue to urge the saving of water.