TAU SA dismayed by water crisis remarks

Organisation says minister’s decision to not help farmers shows arrogance and ignorance

Government should learn to adapt

TAU SA expressed its’ utmost dismay with the Minister of Water Affairs and Sanitation nonchalant remarks on the crisis experienced by farmers during the current drought.

The Minister said that she has no intention of helping farmers with drought relief and that they must learn to adapt.

TAU SA President, Mr Louis Meintjes, described the minister's statement as arrogant and defiant, based on her lack of knowledge on agriculture. On the other hand he expressed his appreciation to the National Council of Provinces, who recommended that the government should authorise drought assistance to farmers.

Mr Meintjes said that as Minister of Water Affairs and Sanitation she would do better to stick to her priorities, instead of making comments beyond the scope of her portfolio. Her responsibility is to ensure that sufficient potable water is available for the ecology of the country, for human consumption and for agricultural purposes to ensure that there will be food on everyone's table. "Due to her departments’ lack of action some water sources are polluted to such an extent that it is not even suitable for power generation purposes as a result of too high salt content " said Mr Meintjes.

"Farmers in their nature have already adjusted to South African conditions. How does the Minister think did they manage to keep agriculture alive in this country for more than three centuries?  Perhaps she should also pay attention to subsistence and emerging farmers. How effective is their water use and to what extent they have been able to adapt?

We hope that the country and the government will also adapt  should the day dawn when there is not enough food anymore, and therefore less revenue for the state.

Issued by TAU SA President Louis Meintjes, 4 November 2015