Saturday, 3 February 2018

A citizen is about to declare a State of Emergency

People should be cross with themselves for allowing this situation to get to where it is, when the likes of myself, Anthony Turton, GrahamTek and many other Active Citizens have been warning of this impending disaster for decades. And please, this is not the worst drought ever. It is the worst drought in 33 years. It is the worst water management crisis ever, and THE FIRST WATER MANAGEMENT CRISIS WAS IN 1800.

Sorry about the SHOUTING / Emphasis.

South Africans and their Government have known that Cape Town is a Water Scarce region for Millenia. Hence why the Bushman learnt how to live in the desert.

And in 1800, "modern civilisation" learnt that the Tavern of the Seas with its Abundant Hoerikwaggo water, was actually "water scarce".

The problem: People are apathetic. They plan for retirement in 30 years time, but they don't plan to be alive next week. Most people are "free-riders". eg in Milnerton, about half of residents are members of Milnerton Crime Watch and the rest get the MCW's services for free. The same with poor people who use the roads paid for by the taxes on the taxpayers.

And what of the neighbour's alarm that goes off and no-one does anything about this, because everything thinks that someone else will phone the Armed Response Company, or will look over the wall to see what's happening. Malcolm Gladwell wrote about this in one of his books. I have read all his books. When my neighbour's alarm goes off I contact MCW. I take responsibility.

But when queues of people arrive at a shop with 40 days of water to go from the dams, then it is these people who haven't been focussed on what really matters in our world. What really matters is living a healthy life. After that it is ensuring that we will be alive next week. After that it is finding the right clothes, the right accommodation, the right transport.

Please note: CAPE TOWN IS RUNNING OUT OF WATER FROM THE DAMS. Cape Town is NOT running out of water. Has anyone noticed the 30 springs coming down Table Mountain, with hundreds of rivers? People are fighting over water in shops and in Spring Road and at SAB in Newlands. But what about the 100's of rivers? What about Camissa? What about the Liesbeek and Black Rivers and other Rivers in Cape Town?

In 1483, Cape Town was "discovered" and in 1652 the Dutch East India Company sent a fleet of ships to "The Most Beautiful Cape in the World" to establish Cape Town as the TAVERN OF THE SEAS, a place for a thirsty person to quick xe's thirst, and to get fresh fruit and vegetables from the Company Garden and the many farms that sprang up around Table Mountain and into the Paarl, Stellenbosch and Constantia Valleys. Many of those farms still exist today and some are even in the same families, or perhaps have only had one or two families owning those farms for centuries.

And of-course the ELEPHANT in the room, the Sea. There are 1.332 billion cubic kilometers of water in the Sea. And Cape Town just happens to be on the coast, next to the Sea!

Many desalination projects have started and been scrapped over the years. In 2005, GrahamTek built a 300,000 litre a day plant and offered it to the City free of charge. That was a R2 million donation and they would have installed and maintained it for free. A hydrological engineer named Ian Neilson, who is now in charge of fixing the water problem, and who has been Cape City of Cape Town 's Chief of Finance for decades, has sat on this offer for 13 years. I spoke to one of the top guys at GrahamTek. And I asked how long it will take to install this system? He said "tomorrow". I said "huh?" He said that the system is in their factory in Somerset West, and they use it as a demo unit!!!!

Premier Helen Zille and the DA say that the Water Act and the Government are preventing them from implementing Water projects in the Western Cape. And that big dams and water provision are Government's responsibility.

But after trying for 10 years to see Helen, I happened to be sitting with her at the Press Club breakfast last Sunday, where the Minister of Water and Sanitation was speaking. I asked Helen if she knows what a Mandamus is? She said yes! I asked her if she was actioning one? She said yes! And then I asked her if she knows that under the rules in the South African Constitution of 1996, she can enact a State of Emergency in the Western Cape? She said yes! And yet this week, all I have heard her say is that we must save more water and that the ANC government is at fault.

A Mandamus would command the Minister of Water and Sanitation to do her job in terms of the Constitution of 1996 and the Water Act of 1998. As Helen has not done a Mandamus, I have submitted one. And if Helen does not Declare a State of Emergency by 10th February, then I will Declare one. I have the right to do it in terms of the Constitution as long as I have followed "due process" and submitted my Mandamus and warned government and all other interested parties of my intentions. I am using the Internet to warn everyone.

Then there is the matter of the 87 litres per person per day day, which just became 50 litres per person per day on 1st February 2018.

Two years ago when this water crisis "started" (note that we knew about it in 1800), this city used 1.2 Billion Litres of Water a Day. Today it is down to 600 Million Litres of Water a Day. Capetonians have come to the party and HALVED OUR CONSUMPTION. And instead of thanking us, the City of Cape Town is complaining that we must now reduce our consumption to 450 Million litres per day. Personally I don't believe it is possible for this city to use less than 600 million litres per day. Nor do I think, in an age of Water-Borne-Sewerage, that we should use less than 87 litres per person per day.

And our water prices are already up to SIX TIMES higher than they were two years ago. And this before the latest 1st February increases, which increase prices by another FIVE TIMES, so THIS CITY HAS PUT UP WATER PRICES BY UP TO 30 TIMES IN JUST TWO YEARS.

The City of Cape Town said that the higher tariffs would be used for Water Infrastructure. And in the past two years, over 600 Million Litres of Desalination COULD have been added to the system. There are plans to pump desalinated water into the Lower Steenbras Dam. There are plans to pump water from rivers into Dams. There are plans to use Table Mountain water the water from Cape Town's rivers. And many of these plans are decades old. And none implemented!

And why haven't these plans been implemented?

Because South Africa is a Communist country, where all money must flow via the Centre and where all decision making is made by "The Minister". Planning committees are ignored. People are currently blaming Mayor Patricia De Lille for her corruption. But the GCTCA already knew of this problem three years ago, when I was on their committee.

Desalination plus using Table Mountain Water, plus using River Water, implies Decentralisation. The same is true for Renewable Energy that I have been crusading for for a decade. And I won the SAAEA's prestigious Green Merlin award for my services to Renewable Energy in South Africa.

There is a way to solve our crisis. It begins with us. We must take responsibility for ourselves and remove ourselves from the South African curse: "Waiting for the future, whilst blaming the past". I invented this phrase.

It is time for Citizens of South Africa to become Active Citizens and to take responsibility for ourselves. And to stop blaming others and to stop being entitled. Blame and entitlement (being selfish) are the two biggest cancers on this planet.

Let us take responsibility and with God's help, save ourselves.

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