A dry, white sea­son

The Times (South Africa) - - Opinion&letters -

● The state cap­ture and whole­sale loot­ing done with strut­ting im­punity by Zuma and his acolytes have in­duced na­tional de­spair. Amid the gloom, fu­til­ity and muted anger, we must not drop the ball when it comes to other im­mi­nent threats to the na­tion, none more so than wa­ter scarcity, es­pe­cially in the Western Cape.

This was brought home while I was lis­ten­ing to a TV in­ter­view with wa­ter ex­pert An­thony Tur­ton. What struck me was not just the very fea­si­ble so­lu­tions he ad­vanced, but his great hu­mil­ity and his avoid­ance of play­ing the blame game with the Min­istry of Wa­ter Af­fairs.

The re­sponse from Sputnik Ratau was ver­bose and in­con­clu­sive. We need ac­tion, not just words about how well his depart­ment is in­formed of the prob­lem.

Tur­ton es­ti­mated his so­lu­tion would cost in the re­gion of R35-mil­lion. He be­lieves it would not be dif­fi­cult to find the money. Of course not. Look at the vast sums al­ready looted, not to men­tion the R30-mil­lion pay­out mooted for the Sand­ton she­beener’s re­tire­ment. Let’s get to that money be­fore loot­ers like him do.

Tur­ton’s earnest­ness was sim­i­lar to that of an­other ex­pert of con­science, Martin Creamer. With Jac­ques Pauw and oth­ers, these men of ac­tion love their coun­try and they’re all white – some­thing we need to re­mind our­selves of when with the loom­ing elec­tion we are in dan­ger of be­ing drowned in a wel­ter of racist pop­ulism.

This, how­ever, is not to ex­cuse la­tent and resid­ual racism among the na­tion’s priv­i­leged sec­tor, more par­tic­u­larly those racist whites who have ben­e­fited and con­tinue to ben­e­fit from apartheid’s en­trenched en­dow­ments. — Ron­nie Goven­der

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