Water crisis: What is Mokonyane doing in Liberia? - Leon Basson

DA MP says minister should be doing all she can ensure her dept assists Cape Town and the Western Cape

Why is Mokonyane in Liberia instead of attending to the national drought crisis?

The DA finds it most worrying that the Water and Sanitation Minister, Nomvula Mokonyane will today represent President Jacob Zuma at the inauguration of the new Liberian President, George Weah.

Instead of attending to the on-going water crisis here at home, the Minister is off on a junket while South Africans are facing a potentially crippling drought.

If Minister Mokonyane took her job seriously, she would ensure that her department applies its resources to assisting municipalities which are grappling with the drought. As the custodian of the country’s water resources, the Minister has a legal mandate to work with local authorities to find solutions to provide water to drought-stricken communities.

The DA has on numerous occasions called for national government’s intervention in the water crisis involving the city of Cape Town. The Eastern Cape and Limpopo are also being ravaged by drought, yet Minister Mokonyane is missing in action while the situation is becoming increasingly grim.

The DA in the Western Cape has been at the coalface of managing the drought situation by vigorously encouraging its residents to reduce water consumption and by working tirelessly to roll out projects to boost bulk water supply, despite this not being a local competency. Initiatives include desalination plants and identifying aquifers.

With a bloated cabinet, President Zuma could have deployed any other minister to represent him at this occasion but he instead picked the one facing a national crisis in her department. Managing a drought is a national competency and South Africans need decisive leadership to ensure major contingency plans are in place to offset the imminent disaster.

The DA continues to urge all our communities to implement water saving measures in their homes, schools and businesses.

We have long held the view that the severity of this drought is a result of the Department and Minister Mokonyane’s failure to properly maintain and upgrade the country’s aging water infrastructure and we will do all we can to hold her accountable.

Statement issued by Leon Basson MP, DA Shadow Minister of Water and Sanitation, 22 January 2018