Water shortage: who benefits?
The speech by Mayor of Cape Town Patricia de Lille on the city’s water situation, quoted in your editorial (nose218) may not go without a comment. In the mid-80s we were informed that the Western Cape was going to become a water scarce area as a result of climate change/global warming. Global warming did not decrease, neither did it remain constant: it increased.
Fast forward to 1990 when the flood of people from the then Transkei and Ciskei began, resulting in a sharp increase of the population of this city, putting severe pressure on its water resources. This development compelled the administration to start using water from Theewaterskloof Dam – which farmers say was originally built for agriculture only – for domestic purposes.
To compensate, the dam in the Berg River at Franschhoek was built. However, it was already stated at that time that this development was going to be insufficient to satisfy the water needs of the area. Add the decrease in rainfall, then one can only start counting down.
Always keeping an eye on the satellite photographs of the southern Atlantic, I got a big shock in the winter of 2008. The fronts over South America, which take about seven days to reach South Africa, had disappeared half-way across. What was left were some cloudy areas from which we received some rain when they reached the Cape.
This development most certainly should have set some alarm bells ringing. It did, with Agri-SA, and the company in Strand that is building desalination plants in the Far and Middle East. The latter went public, stating that, due to new technology, desalination and purification of the groundwater reserve under the Cape Flats had become an attractive possibility. Reaction from the authorities was that they were talking about it.
A few years ago they both approached the province and the city with their worries about the water security in the Western Cape but were cold-shouldered by them. Take into account that the city has been taking from agriculture without giving anything in return.
The disastrous rainfall pattern over the past few years changed a serious situation into a disastrous one, without any initiative from the authorities. The De Lille prayer could be heard in the city hall: “Please Father take this cup away from us”. Unfortunately the Father did not listen and we have to contend with a situation resulting from a total lack of action by the authorities. Even during the summer of 2016/17 they were counting and praying for a good rainy season in our 2017 winter. Only when this appeared to be a real pipe dream did they start to impose ever-stricter water restrictions. A real case of “after the horse has bolted”.
What we have seen developing is a destruction of the water security of the Western Cape, an endangering of the food security of the area, a threat to job security in the area and an undermining of the financial position of the metro. With the imposition of an illegal DA-incompetency-tax/water levy, they have placed the metro in a kind of Sanral situation, with a tax/levy that is not going to be paid.
It is infuriating that a party which hopes to form a government after the 2019 elections can willingly allow this situation to come about.
Teddy Roosevelt said that “in politics nothing happens, everything is very carefully planned”. This statement will make sense when we look into who may possibly gain from this disaster. What immediately comes to mind is “property development”.
Since last winter we have been bombarded by development announcements: Maiden’s Cove; a R1.8-billion project somewhere in the Eastern part of the CBD; The Culemborg area; the development around the freeways and their completion (being the mayor’s legacy); an unwanted development near or at the border of the Bo Kaap; and more promised to come.
I have no doubt that many developers will be salivating when they look at or think about Franschhoek, Paarl, Stellenbosch and the Helderberg. We can be sure that the value of the land will not increase due to water shortages. Of course at this stage, this is all speculation but it is not nonsensical.
In your Editorial you express the hope that learning comes from mistakes. This raises the question: Can people who seem to have no clue what they are doing make mistakes?
Waterfront, Cape Town
n The City of Cape Town, especially Dear Leader Mayor De Lille, has been useless, useless, useless. And could someone please explain how an 80-year-old widow living on her own on the sixth floor of a block of flats in Sea Point will flush her toilet?
Robert de Vos
n Mayor de Lille has been approving upmarket developments all over the City for years, in the face of strong civic resistance and professional advice. All these new projects have large water footprints in construction, diminish groundwater recharge, increase consumer water demand, pollute more watercourses and require provisioning with water- dependent industries. She does not talk about this we note.
Knysna: ineptitude or worse?
So, more inaction and incompetence from the Knysna municipal authorities, then a farce of an expensive investigation and report that blatantly lies, and then, when the lies are exposed in Noseweek, some other fantastical story is concocted as an alternative but also factual explanation of the “facts”. If you’re going to lie, at least, make the lie plausible.
n The “secret” investigation is enough to let us know something official went very wrong. Was it gross carelessness in the end?
Douw’s raiding of Sassa grants
The Government needs to look into all these so-called billionaires to see where their wealth is coming from.
How can anyone with a heart take from the poor? Douw Steyn is not the only one; there are sadly many others like him.
Not quite like him! – Ed.
n This is as criminal and immoral as Zupta’s criminal actions; sheer callousness towards others in the name of insatiable greed.
Lee Ward Able
n Like with any other policy/insurance company, it is not the company itself but the corrupt agent that is doing this. The more contracts she/he sells, the more commission earned. She does not want to cancel these policies as it will influence her monthly income.
You should report the agent to the necessary authorities for taking advantage of people who don’t know better.
Lorita de Bruin
Nuclear plan needs aerotropolis
Zuma promised Putin much and they need a private port of entry to facilitate the nuclear build so I don’t think we’ve seen the end of this story.
n Noseweek is taking a begging bowl around to fund malicious gossip and rumours.
And you are clearly a loyal ANC voter who will hear, see and speak no evil of the party. – Ed.
Liquidators milk pig farm feud
And now I see that the self-same liquidators have been appointed to manage the Honeydew/Dairy Day fiasco. Now the cows are really going to get milked! Yip, a few more stories could be written in these pages by the very liquidators named in nose219. They are lucky to still be operating. Their day is coming.
The promotion of Iqbal Survé’s personal interests in Business Report (nose219) is shameful, but to be expected. The last straw was when Auntie Adri [Adri Senekal de Wet, Business Report’s Executive Editor] lectured her readers on how to be proper patriotic South Africans.
Agony of elusive redemption
It’s been over a decade since I let you know about the passing of Dr Frank Carlisle, my father. A concerned fellow citizen wanting more details about Rob Lowe brought your article, “How Lowe can you go” (nose218), to my attention. It brought back a flood of very sad memories. I tried to bury the whole saga along with my dad. I had no fight left, after seeing what the pursuit for the truth did to my entire family. My parents never got the chance to live out the retirement that they had planned, travelling around South Africa in a camper-van.
When Mercantile Bank tried to have my dad arrested for breaking a gagging order by virtue of an email, it was time to give up. The pen is not always mightier than the sword, and it’s useless without ink.
My mom had to give up medical aid along the line, and she died after receiving inferior cancer care at a municipal hospital, and before she reached 65. She was buried in Mossel Bay, where the two had met and later married in 1963. My dad chose to stay in Mossel Bay and in touch with the good memories, but sadly died from a stroke in another municipal hospital, only nine months later. He was only 66 years old, but withered and battered and unfairly abused.
Without Rob Lowe’s theft and the bank’s resulting position, and without the years of endless litigation in pursuit of the truth, and without the real fear of arrest and harassment, I do believe 100% that my parents would have enjoyed a much longer and happier life together.
I was robbed of my only family and my children, of their grandparents and any legacy or memory.
In cruel irony, on the same morning, not long after receiving the phone call about my dad’s passing, I walked passed Rob Lowe and his partner enjoying R1,000 crayfish on the Camps Bay strip. It took all my restraint not to help that mid-morning brunch in, down, and out the other side in one filthy swoop.
However, from what I read about his sick pornographic past, a crispy crustacean violation might have gone down nicely with a glass of Chardonnay and a sea view.
It was uplifting and heartwarming to read the words “well-respected educationalist”, and I thank you for that. My dad worked 14-hour days all his life, lectured on Saturdays, his brunch was a sandwich behind his typewriter, and during his 20 years at the helm of the Production Management Institute (PMI), a Johannesburg training and education centre, he helped tens of thousands of people achieve emancipation through education. He pioneered progression and portability two decades before SAQA adopted the principals. Adult students with no secondary education could progress through the levels and eventually get a B.Sc Hons. Rob Lowe eroded it all.
This is the end I guess. I don’t hold out much hope for justice and accountability.
In much appreciation, and keep up the good work.
Also see noses49,54 & 85. – Ed.
While I respect your right to choose a pseudonym, please don’t do so unless it is imperative for your protection. We live in a country where we are entitled to express our personal opinions. Exercise that right proudly in your own name. – Martin Welz.
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