EFF Western Cape is bemused at the responses of Western Cape Government to the water crisis. Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has quite a list on her tick list and most certainly the blame game is one of it.
First out of Zille starting blocks is the ANC National Government that is being blamed for not intervening timeously to avert the water crisis and citizens are being blamed for not rationing themselves enough with this increasingly scarce resource. Natural Forces such as the drought and climate change is being blamed for being unpredictable and hence outside the control of the DA. Even the Eastern Cape comes in as a contributor in a thinly veiled reference to Cape Town increased population density.
What should be controversial to all voters of the DA is the political nature of Zille’s blame tirade. Her almost sole dependence on citizens as the supposed savior of Cape Town is pitiful and extremely tragic. Didn’t her spin doctors give her the proper statistics on the three main users of waters and their usage figures? Common sense and international water usage statistics dictates that farming, industry, business should account for more than 60% of water usage. Household water usage should account for less than 20% yet household are called upon to save the day.
This is so typically DA it is nauseous. The DA reigns supreme in their protection of White Capital. Its business as usual for the two main users of water, farming and industry. Their voting constituency who used less than 20% of the water is being asked to sacrifice so that the white elite does not suffer financial losses in farming and industry.
It is tragic that this DA government should applaud capitalistic tendencies and label it as a new water economy. EFF sees water as a resource and a human right, not as a commodity to enrich the white elite. All water resources should be nationalized and corporate control over water should be abolished. The “mining” of water from the sources that feed our dams for bottling and sale should constitute theft of a national resource. The sale of water by the big five monopolistic retailers during a crisis is despicable. Zille speech is blatant in her protection of white monopoly capital and her absolute failure to accept responsibility for the water crisis. Whichever way one looks at it, government is elected to predict, plan, research and deal with crisis’es such as these. The DA failed in their constitutional mandate. In the final analysis, only Zille appears to be blameless for the water crisis.
EFF contends that all sections of the water usage community should be empowered to contribute towards a resolution of the crisis. The biggest mistake is in believing that you as Government has the solutions and communities must just follow your lead to resolve the crisis. EFF believes in grassroots level engagement of all the affected sections of the community. The three main sections, Farming, Industry and Household communities must have separate water Saving and Generation indabas to inculcate the necessary mindset and mind shift towards becoming an empowered and water wise citizen. The necessary expertise lies in us to cope and triumph in this crisis. Without going into too much details a few ideas for the three sections could read as follows.
Farming: A change in farming culture towards the following:
- Drip Irrigation. Drip irrigation systems deliver water directly to a plant’s roots, reducing the evaporation that happens with spray watering systems. …
- Capturing water from air for use in irrigation. …
- Smart Irrigation Scheduling. …
- Drought-Tolerant Crops. …
- Dry Farming. …
- Rotational Grazing. …
- Composting and Mulching.
- Cover Crops.
Industry: A change in Industry practice and culture towards the following:
- Modifying the equipment or installing water saving devices.
- Replacing existing equipment with more water-efficient equipment.
- Water treatment, recycling, and reuse.
- Changing to a waterless process.
- All corporate gardens should change to waterless or water friendly gardening styles and methods.
Households: A change in household water practice and culture towards the following:
- Replacement of toilets to low flow systems
- Borehole water generation
- Waterless or low water gardening.
Government: All three spheres:
- Hold and fund indabas
- Change Western Cape climate designation from temperate to semi-desert
- Release necessary funding
- Nationalize all water sources
- Prohibit corporate control of water sources
- Upgrade, repair and replace all faulty water management equipment, whether in private or government ownership.
- Rehabilitate all natural springs and prospect alternative water supplies.
- Promote borehole water and low technology drilling methods
We contend that this crisis is not political and should not be used in this way. For the sake of our people we need to rise above party politics and take hands towards a successful resolution of this crisis. The above suggestions are minuscule in comparison to the wealth of information held by ordinary citizens. Let us use our most precious resource, our people to save our people.
Chairperson: EFF Western Cape