Drought ‘blame game’

2015-11-04 06:00

POLITICAL parties were scampering to apportion blame for the province’s prolonged drought which could soon see households placed under even tighter restrictions.

A motion brought before a full house at the KZN Legislature by the IFP’s Nhlanhla Msimango saw parties take aim at the reasons - some reasonable and others bizarre - why the province faced one of its worst droughts in years.

In some of the more quirky reasons the ANC’s Sihle Duma put the blame firmly at the feet of the U.S. and Britain, the NFP’s Njabulo Mlaba blamed the alleged privatisation of dams and rivers and the EFF’s Vusumuzi Khoza blamed apartheid, the IFP and ANC.

“The water shortage is in danger of stopping our country. Unless decisive leadership is forthcoming we will reach a point of no return,” said Msimango.

ANC MPL Ravi Pillay, who spoke on the motion on behalf of Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube, said the drought to date has led to the death of 40 000 head of cattle.

“To date, two tranches of R352 million and R24 million have been received for drought relief initiatives. Every affected individual, family or community is now entitled to emergency assistance from various branches of government,” said Pillay.

He said the department has “adopted a multi-pronged approach” to the drought, which saw them first reach those most affected immediately while “exploring far-reaching measures” to conserve water.

“Water tankering, drilling of bore holes and installing of water washers are but three forms of emergency assistance … until more sustainable solutions, such as large-scale water harvesting and desalination, are found through adequate water infrastructure.”

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