The Minister of Water Affairs’ budget does not reflect the knowledge and insight that one would expect of a Minister with expertise and experience, according to the chairman of the National Water Forum (NWF), Mr Louis Meintjes. He continues to say that the minister has been involved in both water and mining since Aril 2004. “She should have enough knowledge and experience to have insight to the problems and in particular the solutions.”
Meintjes said the facts speak clearly:
South Africa is already in a crisis and not just on our way thereto.
The water of the so-called single purpose dams which is used for the development of disadvantaged communities is useless when it is contaminated and unfit for human consumption and irrigation purposes.
The minister continues to allow water sources to be unlawfully, willfully or negligently polluted. Pollution continues and to date nothing has been implemented to prevent this.
Her biggest success to date was to prosecute a farmer who continued to use water for food production while many other suffered famine due to her inability to prevent further contamination.
“As Minister of Minerals and Energy she has to be aware of the impact of mining on the quality of our water resources, as well as the impact on food security. Together with the pollution created by local authorities’ dysfunctional wastewater treatment facilities, we foresee a period of famine and disease”.
Meintjes proposes a simple solution. “Stop planning, holding strategic conferences and thinking of excuses, and address the causes of the pollution. The Minister’s capacity as a minister is measured by the quality of our water resources and not by strategic documents of workshops and conferences. “