Zuma: The drought is not a curse for our sins

2016-04-03 15:07
(Amanda Khoza, News24)

(Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Melmoth – President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday that the drought in the country was not a curse for people's sins, but was caused by climate change.

Speaking in isiZulu to more than 10 000 people gathered at a drought relief imbizo at the Melmoth sports grounds in KwaZulu-Natal, Zuma said: "They say after the drought, we will have heavy rains that will have devastating effects, that the rains will even tear down houses. After that there will be floods. All of this is climate change.

"I don’t want us to say we are... cursed because of our sins. The way we live life here on earth has affected our climate," said Zuma.

This was Zuma's first public appearance after he apologised to the nation for the Nkandla debacle.

The president received a resounding welcome despite being late after his helicopter could not land due to bad weather.

Zuma apologised for the delay, saying that as he was about to land, the helicopter had to return to Durban and he had to be driven to Melmoth.

Zuma was upbeat during the event, smiling and sharing jokes with the gathering.

Before he took the podium, a man dressed in a black suit lay on the floor and had to be forcibly removed by Zuma’s bodyguards. It was not clear what the man's intentions were.

Addressing the gathering Zuma said: "We are gathered here because we have a big problem... There is a lot that government has done and we are still meeting [and discussing] because the drought is still there even though the rain has fallen. It is a little bit late.

"The drought has affected the whole of South Africa. There are five provinces that have been affected... Mpumalanga, Free State, North West, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal," Zuma said.

"We know that communities are struggling, there is no water, the dam levels are down. I used to swim in uThukela river and even walk across it by foot and I was scared of it but now, the water levels are low."

Zuma said the drought had also affected livestock. "Cattle are dying and we cannot plough crops."

"Even if you grow crops, there is little rain. That is why the government has decided to do whatever it needs to do to assist people who are faced with the crisis."

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  drought

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