COSATU claim victory for the reduction of water supplied to farmers and moving day zero

The water crises revealed the stunning level of incompetence in the City of Cape Town and Provincial Government.  The way it is communicated is confusing residence and giving the impression that it is just a circus.  The threat to jobs and lives of people through diseases from sanitation spills that the DA risked has happened because they want to ensure continued water aupply to farmers.  Surely famer’s plants must be allowed to die before people do, but for the DA, black people lives are less important than famer’s profit, from export products.

The city and the province should know how much water is available in the dam and who the water is meant to go to.  If the calculation reveals that half the water that is in the dams must go to farmers, then that must be checked and stopped before creating panic amongst residence. Failure to do this would be ridiculous.  The fact is that farmers have used more water and thais needs to stop..

The farmers have been given the right to take as much water as they want because they are friends with the Provincial Government Political Leadership.  Zille and her MEC’s, many of whom are farmers have been giving the farmers water that is desperately needed for the people of Cape Town.  These farmers do not produce for food security, but mainly export fruit crops for their own profit.  Cosatu has called for an end to this uneven and ridiculous supply of scarce water to farmers for the last 6 months. The DA leaders have been refusing to cut water to farmers.  The farmers can go and claim from their insurance for natural disaster and the farm workers must be compensated from the Unemployment insurance fund.

With proper management of water resources this panic that is being created and that is damaging the economy by scaring investors and threatening jobs could be avoided. The DA leadership has essentially risked the lives of people in Cape Town, by favouring the farmers with excessive water supply.. Cosatu calls for Deputy President to manage the water crises, because he is the only credible leader at the head of all levels of Government left, who has the confidence of the people.

Cosatu will be meeting with the business sector (Cape Chamber) in Cape Town on the 08th of February 2018 at 10h30, to discuss the following urgent areas:

The following measures should urgently be considered to avoid Day Zero at a general level:


  • Introducing urgent desalination plants
  • Increasing the water recycling capacity
  • Urgent demand reduction in the City
  • Better more credible messaging on demand reduction
  • Urgent seawater additions to the sewerage system for when water flow is reduced
  • Stop all agricultural irrigation, other than for food security and Livestock and human consumption.
  • Endure an effective water distribution system for day Zero.
  • Turning down the pressure and having water shedding times for non industrial use.

Together as business and Labour we should explore the following

  • Water reduction and contingency plans in the workplaces
  • Water augmentation plans in the workplace , including recycling , boreholes,
  • Providing water to workers for home use, when Day Zero.
  • Scheduling time off to go and collect water from water points
  • Assist in bulk buying containers for water transport

 Issued by COSATU

Tony Ehrenreich (Cosatu Western Cape Provincial Secretary)

Cell: 082 773 3194