Can the DA do any better with water?

13 November 2013

Are there now too many holes to plug?

Are there now too many holes to plug? (Photo: Bill Harding)

Recent days have seen what appears to be an increasing level of disarray within the DA, as it prepares to contest the 2014 elections which, to all intents and purposes, have the makings of a watershed event in SA politics.

Recently we learnt that the  Department of Water Affairs, managing a commodity on which our socio-economic future depends, was rated as one of the three worst performing government departments.  This, combined with skills losses, bureaucratic inertia, infrastructure decay and other crises, presents as a major limitation to strategic progress.  The few dedicated, skilled and energetic staffers still manning the trenches cannot carry the whole organisation.

Quite some time ago I asked the DA Shadow Minister of Water Affairs, the dynamic and well-informed Gareth Morgan (no longer with the DA and I have no idea who took his place), to provide Droplets with an op-ed piece on how, ‘if the DA came to power tomorrow’, would they turn Water Affairs around – given that they would be inheriting a leaky ship.  Although he initially agreed with some alacrity, no “how we would do it with water” explanation was ever forthcoming.

It’s not only about water.  The daily and weekend press abounds with – and has done for a long time – stories of maladministration, corruption and general failure to deliver.  It would be nice to see some details of how this could be turned around and how long it would take?

Would the current Shadow Minister care to respond? (but I am not going to hold my breath; after all, despite all the “we can do better” rah rah, neither the ANC nor the DA have been able to resolve speeding in the street in which I live, so how can I expect them to deal with really challenging issue like water resource management?).


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