I have written to Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as Leader of Government Business, requesting an urgent meeting to discuss how we can best work together to tackle the immediate drought crisis in the City of Cape Town, and to defeat Day Zero.
Ramaphosa announced last week that he intends to assemble a team to tackle this crisis. I welcome the Deputy President’s intentions, and I am willing to work with anyone who is committed to avoiding Day Zero – regardless of political affiliation.
It is no secret that the drought crisis in the City of Cape Town is unprecedented. I have assembled a Disaster Response Team, comprising of members of our respective governments’, to effectively respond to the situation and to lead our efforts to defeat Day Zero. As such, I would like to ensure maximum co-ordination between various players, so that we can avoid Day Zero together. Therefore it is crucial that the Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, and the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, are also part of this meeting to address the financing model for water supply, and national government’s plans around funding and bulk water infrastructure.
While the Cape Town drought crisis is the one that requires the most urgent attention, it is not the only drought crisis in South Africa. I would therefore also like to discuss with the Deputy President how best we can collaborate and tackle other water crises across the country – where water infrastructure projects are behind schedule, or non-existent.
Lastly, we will be engaging with leaders from all sectors, to discuss private sector funding of water projects in the short and medium term.
DA governments are doing everything they can in response to the crisis. The national interest must be put ahead of individual or party political interests. Now is the time to unite to defeat Day Zero.
Leader of the Democratic Alliance