Zuma & Zille too compromised to deal with water crisis – COSATU WCape

Federation says a national champion needs to step in, and that is Cyril Ramaphosa

COSATU Open letter to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

Re: COSATU says Zuma & Zille are too politically compromised to lead Water Crisis only Deputy President Cde Cyril Ramaphosa can

Attention: The SA Deputy President (Mr Cyril Ramaphosa)

Cc: The Minister of Water & Sanitation (Ms Nomvula Mokonyana)

23 January 2018

Please receive correspondence from our offices regarding the water crisis in Cape Town, requesting your urgent consideration. The water crisis in the Western Cape is going to cause a major problem for the entire country.  This crisis is due to the less than adequate management of water in the Western Cape, by all levels of government. The new water situation in the country is causing serious challenges in many provinces, with Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Free State the worse affected at the moment.

The situation in the Western Cape is however the most desperate with the management thereof leaving much to be desired. The water will run out if the rain patterns don’t do something unusual for this time of the year. The economy will be severely affected with many jobs being lost, due to water supply instability. The sanitation system is water based and when the water runs out, the drains will overflow and the spillage will lead to disease and deaths.

The water augmentation measures that are now being pursued by the City will not be ready or meet the extent of the demand, when rain water is exhausted. The desalination plants are hopelessly behind schedule, the recycling has been historically delayed, the aquifers’ has not been sustainably explored, the springs and other water sources have not been effectively harvested.   

The Agricultural sector is still getting millions of litres in the dire times ,we are and we believe water to agriculture must be stopped for irrigation that is not central to food security. Only people and livestock should get water now, as wines and fruit exports are not central needs now.

The demand management measures are not being supported by Capetonians, because the city administration has been less than honest with people. So Mayor De Lille is not trusted by people on the water challenge, so her appeals for water reduction fall on deaf ears.

Premier Zille has at this late stage realised there is a crisis and entered the fray, but unfortunately she will also not be heard, because of her refugee and colonialist attitudes and statements.  Zille had continued to give billions of letters of water to farmers even after she knew that we there is a water crisis. 

It is not enough for SAB to make a deal with Helen Zille to make fewer bottles of water;SAB must stop to using our scares water to make beer. We need a National Champion with the credibility and political authority to make a decisive intervention into the crisis. We believe that your good offices can play that role in assisting Capetonians to overcome this crisis and appeal for your assistance.   

We have raised our serious concerns with the water Ministry and have not got adequate responses to the challenge. We believe that we should all work together before protest and civil unrest grips our communities ,who have a real fear of dying of thirst. Day Zero is moving closer all the time and the mitigations measures are being delayed due to bad planning.

We know that you are busy with important work in Davos at this time, but look forward to your earliest consideration.

Issued by Tony Ehrenreich, Provincial Secretary, COSATU, 23 January 2018