Water crisis at last brings the DA leaders out of hiding – COSATU WCape

Federation says the Zille and Maimane road show on the issue is designed to shift blame to national govt

Water crisis at last brings the DA leaders out of hiding

24 January 2018

The water crisis has been in the media for months and the DA leaders have been nowhere to be seen. They are the same leaders who are responsible for the crisis along with the water Minister of Water Affairs and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane. The DA and the City of Cape Town should bear the largest part of the responsibility, as they failed to implement short term mitigation strategies, once the crisis had been confirmed. The national government is responsible for bulk supply and they failed to adequately address it timeously. 

The Helen Zille and Musi Maimane road show on the issue is designed to shift all the blame to the national government. COSATU called the City of Cape Town and both the provincial and national government to Nedlac to discuss this issue, when we first heard of it. The City of Cape Town and the Provincial Administration did not take the discussions seriously, which could have saved us many millions of liters of water if it was responded to timeously.  They failed to do the following when the crisis was indisputable:

- Get desalination plants up and running as soon as possible, every day a plant provides water it reduces the use of rain water.

- The City did not ramp up water supply and quality from the recycling plants

- The City did not access the aquifers timeously and sustainably.

- The water springs across the City were not effectively harvested.

- The Provincial Government did not put in place plans to stop, non food security irrigation.

- The farmers have used billions of liters of water for grapes and other fruits that make a fruit farmers very rich people.

- The Province should have declared the City a disaster a long time ago, if they were not sleeping on the job.

- There are not enough tanks in the province or minutes in a day to give everyone water at the water points identified

- The city announcement to continue water supply to the City centre at the cost of township people is seen as discriminatory and will start conflicts.

It is silly to suddenly see Ms Helen Zille and Musi Maimane trying to ride in with President Jacob Zuma to save the day. The people who caused the problem cannot bring about the solution as people no longer believe or trust them The Zuma and Zille combination will not be believed by the people as President Jacob Zuma is seen as a crook and Ms Helen Zille is seen as a racist supporter of colonialism.

Musi Maimane is just seen as a puppet and a stooge used by Helen Zille to try and win some votes, but with no plan. The DA has been using the crisis to milk the public purse, as seen by the contract they gave Tony Leon for lying about water

The only credible person who will be able to lead Cape Town and help it address the water crisis is ANC President Cde Cyril Ramaphosa. He has the credibility and is not beholden to any water meter company, who wants to make a profit. He has the credibility amongst the people and the political power to leverage solutions. He has shown himself to be able to effectively champion the interest of workers through the Minimum wage.

We need a leader and a plan that forces hard choices to be made:

-The water to non food security farms must be cut immediately, for only livestock and human consumption.

- The water taken by Coke and Beer makers must be stopped immediately

- Every person must be restricted to 30 liters, irrespective of how much they can pay.

- The augmentation measures and scale must be speeded up.

- We need to get sea water into the sewerage system to get it moving temporarily, lest disease complicate matters.

We cannot afford to have the taps run dry as there will be protest and riots, as companies close and people get sick from sewerage spills. We need urgent action from credible leaders, to save the City of Cape Town at this late stage. We need the City administration and Provincial administration to stop using this crisis to fight internal politics and bury Mayor Patricia De Lille due to their factional fights. We need the leaders to stop trying to shift the blame around and focus on fixing the problem.                  

Issued by Tony Ehrenreich , Western Cape Provincial Secretary, COSATU, 24 January 2018