South Africa’s self-made water crisis

market leader Nestlé’s “pure life”

by Ralph T. Niemeyer

South Africa suffers from severe water shortages partly because of draughts but to a larger degree due to groundwater levels being lowered by major water suppliers such as Nestlé with it’s brand “pure life” and Coca Cola’s “Valprè” that are anything but a health supplement. In fact, the analysis of both ‘mineral’ waters should raise red flags since the pH of 4.5 indicates a very acidic content well below the ideal neutral pH level of 7.

In case of Nestlé a high alcalinity of 213 mg/l proves that the water in the “pure life” – bottle in reality is rather dead as alcalinity in water is having a buffer-effect  towards acidity meaning that by high alkalinity the acid in the water can be reduced.

On top of that an extraordinary high Chloride (Cl) content of 7 mg/l can remind one of ‘Swimming Pool Water’ as the WHO advises it should not be higher than 1 mg/l. In other words: the pH level of Nestlé’s water is artificially manipulated and brought up to the still terribly low level of 4.5 so one can imagine that before treatment the water must have had a pH between 1 and 2 which would pose a severe health risk. In fact, such pH level is only be found in wastewater such as acid mine drainage water.

coca cola’s “Valprè” bottled in water-scarce Heidelberg, (RSA)

scandalous: government allows major multinationals to squeeze last drops out of the ground while teaching citizens by ‘day-zero’ – rhetoric to save water

And, Nestlé’s main competitor Coca Cola is not better either although the pH is 4.7 while alcalinity is at 65 mg/l but instead the Total Dissolved Salts (TDS) only account for 85 mg/l (Nestlé’s ‘pure life’: 110mg/l) which for a ‘mineral’ water is very poor. Natural mountain spring water would really be pure and healthy with less than 100 TDS. Furthermore, the Cl-content of 2 mg/l is also unacceptable high.

Also winemaker Boschendal is offering ‘mineral’ water. Ph 4 and an exorbitant Chloride level of 25mg may make one only wish this traditional world reknown brand don’t use this water for making their grapes grow. After all, South Africa exports water in form of fruits, vegetables and it’s famous wines.



Cl is being used to keep water fresh and free from bacteria but it is not a healthy supplement even when it comes along in natural forms.

The WHO suggests a level of 0.2 to 1 mg of Chlorine per liter.

In Austria Chlorine is no longer allowed in water unless in emergency cases of natural disasters. Instead, potable water in Austria is being kept fresh and safe by UV light treatment.

And also German manufacturer ArtAqua work without such unnecessary chemical contamination to turn tap water into a health supplement.

The fact that South African’s are suffering from water shortages can clearly put down to the fiddling of officials in corrupt manner with major water companies and an incredible amount of incompetence on the political level which closed all eyes for scientific facts thus putting health and safety of the citizens at risk.


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