Greenpeace Africa has launched a petition calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to put water at the centre of all government decision-making.
This comes in the wake of news that South Africa’s Auditor-General has reported to Parliament that irregular expenditure by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has rocketed from R4-billion to R6.4-billion.
“The massive irregular expenditure at the DWS is just one more reason for water to become central to all government decision-making. In the face of devastating water scarcity, and one of the worst droughts in living memory, it can no longer be one department’s responsibility to ensure that water is adequately managed in South Africa.
“Greenpeace Africa believes water is a fundamental human right. We cannot live without it, and we must make sure that people’s right to water is put first and protected. This is why we have launched a petition calling on Ramaphosa to clearly prioritise water as a human right,” said Greenpeace Africa senior climate and energy campaign manager Melita Steele.
Greenpeace Africa is asking the President to lead a process where administrative and policy steps are taken to mandate government departments, agencies and entities to place water at the centre of all their decision-making processes.
“We need to radically rethink our relationship to and management of water. Water as a fundamental human right must become more than just rhetoric. While the rains in Cape Town may slowly be starting, we must keep water sharply in focus. Water scarcity is an ongoing significant challenge as climate change is likely to worsen.
“[Significant] water users should no longer have a licence to use as much water as they like,” Steele concluded, requesting that South Africans sign the petition to defend water at https://act.greenpeace.org/page/24020/petition/1.