See pages 4, 5, 22, 23 & 24

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

berg, may­oral com­mit­tee mem­ber for wa­ter, were then dis­patched as the city’s talk­ing heads.

But then within days Pre­mier He­len Zille took the reins, speak­ing out on the need to pre­pare for Day Zero.

Then party leader Mmusi Maimane rolled into town and at­tracted some crit­i­cism af­ter he weighed-in on the cri­sis.

Western Cape DA leader Bonginkosi Madik­izela yes­ter­day de­fended the party’s de­ci­sion to seek Maimane’s help.

“It shows that the DA is tak­ing charge to make sure our gov­ern­ment doesn’t dis­ap­point the peo­ple who put faith in us. That is what a leader does,” he said.

“If Cape Town runs out of wa­ter, the DA will take ac­count­abil­ity. Peo­ple will blame the DA.”

He said Lim­berg and Neil­son would still be “deal­ing with the ad­min­is­tra­tion of this” cri­sis.

“Mmusi is tak­ing charge as the po­lit­i­cal leader of the DA.

“You don’t have to live in Cape Town to know what is hap­pen­ing in the city. Mmusi is the na­tional leader and it is his re­spon­si­bil­ity to know what is hap­pen­ing in all DA gov­ern­ments.”

Asked why Maimane had handed out wa­ter buck­ets to lo­cals who could af­ford to buy their own, Madik­izela said this was “sym­bolic”.

“Peo­ple miss the con­text. Mmusi was say­ing you can af­ford to buy buck­ets but you are still wast­ing wa­ter. It was a sym­bolic act to say use these buck­ets,” he said.

Zille faced an­other dilemma yes­ter­day af­ter­noon when the South African Weather Ser­vice (SAWS) claimed she had been “disin­gen­u­ous and ex­tremely op­por­tunis­tic” in her com­ments about weather pre­dic­tions.

This was in re­sponse to the Lon­don-based web­site The South African which had re­ported that Zille had said the weather ser­vices “have said to me their mod­els don’t work any­more, in an era of cli­mate change”.

In fact, the web­site had mis­quoted Zille’s com­ments made on the TV show, BBC News­night.

Zille had, in fact, said cli­mate change was af­fect­ing weather pre­dic­tions.

She took to Twit­ter last night to de­fend her­self with vis­ual ev­i­dence the weather ser­vices had given her.

“This is one of the wor­ry­ing slides the SA Weather Ser­vice showed us in an open and hon­est brief­ing about what rain­fall to ex­pect in the run-up to Day Zero,” said Zille.

“Where the map is white, they can­not pre­dict. They said: Cli­mate change has de­stroyed pre­dictabil­ity of old fore­cast­ing mod­els.”

Zille told Week­end Ar­gus last night: “It is no neg­a­tive reflection on them that they can’t pre­dict. That is what cli­mate change is do­ing to the sci­ence of fore­cast­ing.

“It is a reflection on cli­mate change, not SAWS. Pity I was mis­re­ported and pity they re­acted.”

She would not com­ment on some of her wa­ter tweets that were crit­i­cised for be­ing in­sen­si­tive to­wards peo­ple with­out ac­cess to wa­ter (see page 5).

Madik­izela re­sponded, though, af­ter see­ing Zille’s tweets: “I’ve read this sev­eral times, which part is a prob­lem for you?”

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