As 2015 races to an end we, in South Africa, have been hit with another buzz phrase – “Water Shedding”, as if we do not have enough to contend with. Corruption, labour unrest and lack of productivity, Chinese imports, crime, dictatorship politics, load shedding or electricity blackouts, increasing wage and salary demands, entitlement, self enrichment, power hungry, degeneration, vandalism, B-BBEE, bad driving and lack of manners – I could go on and on – all stressful situations that we have to deal with in our daily lives. And now we have to contend with the drought affecting large parts of South Africa.
The implications of drought are too horrible to contemplate because the consequences will affect every one of us minnows. Granted we are experiencing unusual weather conditions this summer. But can the drought and “Water Shedding” that is scheduled to take place be blamed entirely on the lack of rainfall that has occurred in most regions of South Africa this year? No it certainly cannot be, in my opinion. It is more a case of bad management and a lack of maintenance to an ageing infrastructure, something that is the norm these days rather than the exception.
In the suburb where I live just last week (first week of November) we had three full days without water. This is not the first time this year that we in our suburb have been without water for at least 12 hours. It probably has been close to 20 occasions and all as a result of the same pipes malfunctioning. Time and again the pipes are repaired and before long the water is streaming into the road. Imagine the cost to the taxpayers, and I am only talking about my incident. This to me is systematic of the badly run and mismanaged councils and municipalities all over South Africa. The exception is the Western Cape and we all know why the area is a pleasure to visit. Worse still it is a case of an ‘I don’t care’ attitude that is prevalent, and a lack of accountability.
You might think I am generalizing, but when so many of us are talking about these subjects, more and more often, they surely must be fact. Some areas are affected more than others and yes, we should not complain because we are relatively unaffected compared to those that have less than us, but the fact still remains that there is definite degeneration of basic services taking place in our country. How long must we put up with the robot (traffic light) that has not worked for a week or the leaking sewerage pipe that is flowing directly into our water system?
I would like to know how far we must fall before it is too late? We have a beautiful country with plenty of valuable resources, mineral and human, wonderful landscapes and natural environments that need to be cherished and promoted. If we as a country do not look after them we will not be able to enjoy them in the future.