Water aids economy
THE news that South Africa has moved out of recession is to be welcomed.
The report by Statistics South Africa suggests that this trend is attributed to growth of primary sectors including agriculture during the second quarter.
Water as a strategic resource has a potential to create jobs when used in a sustainable manner.
The employment from water would consist of direct jobs in industries, agriculture and the tourism sector.
The agriculture sector alone employs around 700 000 workers, making it one of the biggest employers in the economy.
This is a sector that uses almost 60% water in irrigation and other activities.
Tourism is one of the sectors that accounts for freshwater consumption.
While this sector consumes considerably less water as compared to other sectors such as agriculture, it creates significant job opportunities and cannot operate without water.
For decades water has been instrumental in job creation.
Working for Water programme, South Africa’s largest public-funded project to eradicate invasive alien plants and improve water resources in the world, has created over 180 000 fulltime jobs over the past two decades.
Given the prevailing drought in the Western Cape and the role of water in job creation, we appeal to all sectors to conserve water resources as this will save jobs and stimulate economic growth.
“Water is life, sanitation is dignity.”