Helen Zille’s Urgent Message And The Cape Town Blame Game

While most of South Africa received rain today, including the Karoo… unfortunately the Western Cape and Northern Cape were very much ‘plunged’ into sunshine-y brightness amidst a never-ending drought (the longest in recorded history)…

Screenshot of South African Weather Service map today, Friday 26 January 2018

As Day Zero approaches rapidly (now set for 12 April, when residents’ taps will be turned off), Western Cape Premier Helen Zille took to social media to deliver an ‘urgent’ message on Cape Town’s water crisis, imploring residents and visitors to the Mother City to please turn off toilet cistern taps. Watch here:

Zille also tweeted a message on Thursday about doing the same with her toilet cistern, which seems to confirm most people’s fears… that leaders in the drought-stricken region have only just started taking the warning of Day Zero seriously themselves!

South African Weather Service Hits Back at Zille’s Accusation on BBC

Zille was chastised on Friday by the South African Weather Service (SAWS) for claiming on the BBC that the weather service had got it wrong.

The SAWS hit back in a press release saying it “noted with regret reports attributed to Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille that the province “finds itself facing a crisis because SA Weather Services (sic) got their predictions all wrong”. The Premier’s statement is disingenuous and extremely opportunistic coming as it does in the midst of a water crisis.

“Zille goes on to claim that “The South African Weather Services (sic) have said to me their models don’t work anymore, in an era of climate change”. We view this in a very dim light as the Premier only had one briefing from SAWS and already draws conclusions on our work.

Cape Town’s water crisis is making headlines around the world. Featured here in the LA Times.

“This is regrettable as SAWS would not comment on policy makers and the lack of action on advice that we have given. SAWS has had discussions with the Premier and respectfully requested her to refrain from casting aspersions on the work of the Service. The Weather Service has further more offered the Premier access to all weather information and resources to enable her to speak from a position of knowledge rather than speculation. Now it seems this offer was not taken up.”

Read the SAWS’ full report, with graphs here:

Mmusi Maimane Blames Drought and Government

DA Leader Mmusi Maimane meanwhile has swooped in to do battle, issuing statements with war cries like “Rise Cape Town Rise” and “Defeat Day Zero”.

He said Cape Town’s water crisis “is not because of lack of planning or foresight… [but] because of the unprecedented severity of the current drought”…

To which social media followers posted the following two photos from old newspapers, one from 1990 and another from 2011… both predicting a future drought in Cape Town.

And apart from it being the weather’s fault, and the weather forecaster’s fault, it’s also apparently all the ANC’s fault (which it could partly be, as delivering water is a national government responsibility – and some have suggested the ANC-led government may have deliberately sabotaged the Western Cape’s water supply to derail the DA’s hold over the Western Cape, or because funds have been channeled elsewhere during an era of alleged corruption)… but the ANC are not accepting any blame, and are pointing fingers right back. Watch here:

But the ANC aren’t taking it…

Nomvula Mokonyane says WC Provincial gov. must take responsibility

[WATCH] Earlier: Nomvula Mokonyane speaks on water crisis in Cape Town. Says the Western Cape Provincial government must take responsibility… Courtesy #DStv403

Posted by eNCAnews on Friday, January 26, 2018

As many South Africans have pointed out – real leaders accept responsibility. And so far both the DA and ANC have failed to do so.

Real South African citizens however have shown a lot more integrity and sense of responsibility, sharing inspiring and innovative ways of saving water…

Wilma Basson: “I have to confess… I showered tonight… for more than 2 minutes… might even be 5 or 6 minutes…and with a buddy… my new shower buddy. My latest best buddy and the best buy since our new normal in CPT…a 5 litre pressure spray….only used 400ml of water…pure showering blizz and that little bit of grey water was dumped in the toilet…. My suggestion is that you rather buy the small one…1.5 liters or 1.25 liters…if I only knew that I was going to save this much water.”

#GoSouthAfricanCitizens! #ShowingTheLeadersHowItsDone!