South Africa’s Water Minister proposes a bottom-up solution

15 September 2014

South Africa has a water crisis which, to all intents and purposes, is not receiving the attention that it should.  Nonetheless, the newly-elected Minister of Water and Sanitation (in the not so old days, Water Affairs), Nomvula Mokonyane, has chosen to throw in her lot with this country’s embattled President – generating the headline “Use buttocks to defend Zuma“.

Surely, surely, we deserve better than this?  This particular ministry does not have the time for anything other than ‘water affairs’ – unless the President’s ‘fire pool’ now needs solar heating?  Or is this some form of ‘payback’ for the appointment?  Let me be quite clear here: it’s not about what the Minister said or how idiomatic the expression might be – it’s about sycophantic politicking by the head of what should be one of the most important departments in this country – yet just on a year ago was rated the second worst performing of all South African government departments.  In this same week the Institute of Security Studies has concluded what many already know, namely “South Africa is facing a potential water crisis and the current policies of the newly named Department of Water and Sanitation are not sufficient to address this problem”. 

As such, the Minister has more important things to be concerned about – or so one would think…



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