Parliament: The blame game becomes a water sport as dam levels stay low

2018-03-08 19:30


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Cape Town – While dam levels in the Western and Eastern Cape remain low, the DA and ANC blamed each other for the water crises in Cape Town and other parts of the country.

"We are sick and tired of giving you [the DA-run Western Cape] money and you do nothing and keep blaming national government!" said Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation Pamela Tshwete in a debate in the National Assembly on Thursday.

"We don't politicise water. You do. You politicise water!" she said while being heckled by the DA.

She said it was inaccurate that the City of Cape Town did not receive help from national government.

"We must always give money to them, as if they're the only ones experiencing the drought," she complained.

Tshwete said the drought started in KwaZulu-Natal, but they didn't complain, they knew what to do.

ANC, DA 'juvenile'

DA MP Leon Basson said national government did "sweet blue all nothing" about the drought in the Western Cape.

"Shame on the ANC government!" he said. "The system failed at the level of national government.

"We must not lose sight of national government failing to respond to the water crisis all over the country.

"It is clear national government dropped the ball."

EFF MP Sam Matiase said: "The juvenile behaviour of the ANC and DA is not helpful and must stop."

He said the water shortage was in part due to the democratic government's failure to ensure rural development, meaning people flocked to cities, including Cape Town, creating a greater need for water provision without improved infrastructure.

Day Zero a 'creation' of the DA

"Capitalist greed forced us into an unsustainable mode of production," said Matiase.

He said it if the mode of development was not changed, the effects of climate change would worsen.

ALSO READ: Cape Town may avoid Day Zero this year - Maimane

The debate was called by NFP MP Munzoor Shaik-Emam as an urgent matter of national importance.

Spurred on by the ANC backbenches, he ripped into the DA-run Cape Town and Western Cape administrations, saying the crisis was caused by "sheer negligence, recklessness and poor management".

He said Day Zero – "now DA Zero" – was used to manipulate the public in order to allow them to award a R6bn Israeli contract.

"There is plenty of water!" alleged Shaik-Emam. "They wanted to create a crisis to give a tender and get money for the 2019 elections."  

'You cannot out-ANC the ANC'

FF Plus MP Corné Mulder said Shaik-Emam's "personal gripe" with the DA and other opposition parties was not a matter of urgent national importance.  

"You cannot out-ANC the ANC," Mulder said, much to the DA's amusement.

Agang MP Andries Tlouamma said the DA could not be trusted and that the Western Cape government had become a "midwife of frustration".

"The premier of this province (Helen Zille) is addicted to Twitter, like Fikile Mbalula," Tlouamma said. "But she is a godmother, so she remains protected."

DA MP Geordin Hill-Lewis said Shaik-Emam's credibility had already hit Day Zero.

"If he really believes the drought doesn't exist, he must have his head read."

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  cape town  |  drought  |  water

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