Water and Sanitation Deputy Minister, David Mahlobo, has warned that climate change is no longer a phenomenon anticipated to show its effects in the future, but a reality currently hard felt by most South Africans and citizens across the world.
“We can no longer say climate change is upon us – it is here and we are all experiencing it. We have all witnessed the unfortunate and heartrending floods in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of North West, as well as the dire effects of drought in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro in the Eastern Cape province,” Mahlobo said.
Speaking during a Journey of Water Reunion Dinner organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Kramerville, Sandton, on Wednesday, Mahlobo reiterated a call to South African residents to use water sparingly and stop polluting the resource, amid the persisting effects of climate change, which impacts on water supply in many parts of the country.
“South Africa is a water scarce country, and we all need to pull our weight to protect this scarce and precious resource — all of us. Yes, it is the mandate and the responsibility of government to ensure consistent water supply for all, but we cannot do so if we still have business and individuals who continue to pollute the resource senselessly,” Mahlobo said.
The Deputy Minister also warned polluters that the department will not hesitate to apply polluter-pays principle where it is found that water is being polluted and thus affecting supply to communities.
WWF Water Source Areas Manager, Samir Randera-Rees emphasised the need for behavioural change and collaborative efforts to help preserve water.
“No single entity can sort out water challenges faced in the country alone. We all need to make those changes now. It is up to us to ensure that we do this not only for ourselves but for generations to come,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za