Do we blame the Minister for the failure of sewage treatment?

There is a sewage pipeline at Sharpeville that has been flowing unabated for a month. It flows into the drinking water for Gauteng.

The Department of Water and Sanitation turns a blind eye on instruction from Nomvula Mokonyane (the Minister of Water Affairs and Sanitation), who was the head of the ANC election committee.

Her instruction during the build-up to the last election was not to prosecute municipalities, because that could lose votes.

That created a sense of impunity and undermined the rule of law. The Department of Water Affairs and Samitation (DWS) is no longer capable of regaining control.

When a government department is unable to meet its constitutional mandate, or self correct in the face of an obvious breach of the law, we have a failed subsystem.

When other subsystems like the SAA. Escom, the NPA, SARS and SAPS also fail, the cumulative impact is a failed state. This situation is no longer acceptable, so we need to create a movement for positive change.

State failure in the water sector is now becoming a domino train of catastrophe, rippling across our country like an unstoppable tsunami of destruction. Please note that none of our bulk water treatment plants, including Rand Water (the biggest in the entire world, were designed to convert raw sewage into potable water.

This is how self-enrichment works. A legitimate project is identified. But then when the tender is called for, only a connected contractor will be awarded the contract.

The work is done and invoiced – so payment is made. A kickback flows to the insider adjudicating the tender process. Financial resources from the fiscus are thus channelled into the pockets of the few who are connected to the gatekeeping elite. The gatekeepers decide who can feed at the trough, and for how long they can feed.

From this, political power flows. We need to understand this process if we are to release our country from the vice-like grip of the voracious crocodile whose appetite knows no end.

Everyone is affected in some way or other, whether you choose to acknowledge this or not. We are building a Movement for Change centered on the new Paradigm of Abundance in which all sewage water is treated to the highest levels of safety for reuse in a Dual Stream Reticulation Economy (where water of different quality and price is used for different purposes).

We are attracting both technology and capital, so soon we will be in a position to turn this around. In the interim, I urge all concerned citizens not to succumb to the cancer of despair – for that simply destroys hope for a better future.

Replicate like a virus for good, and become part of the growing Movement for Change. Become part of the change you want to see as we clean up our national water resources once again.

Professor Anthony Turton is a water strategist, and is on the Water Leapathon Advisory Board.

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