Nero played his fiddle while Rome burned below him and in present-day South Africa, our politicians are squabbling and accusing while the Western Cape desiccates and chokes from thirst before their eyes.
Even though the DA administration in the Western Cape (represented by Premier Helen Zille) and national government (represented by Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane) appeared to come together yesterday to avoid the dreaded “Day Zero” – when Cape Town runs out of water – they were still trading barbs and accusations.
While this is a complex issue, it is clear to us that noone involved in this crisis has covered themselves in glory: municipal, provincial and national tiers of government have all failed to address the water shortage timeously … either in terms of planning, water restrictions or the provision of funds for water infrastructure. If we accept that as the truth, let’s put politics aside and work together to ensure the worst effects of Day Zero are reduced and let’s ensure this never happens in the future.
Sometimes it takes a catastrophe to remind us that, politics and colour aside, we are all South Africans. We are tough – and when the going gets tough, let’s hope the tough gets going …