Water is scarce in South Africa and Mlungisi Johnson, the chairperson of Parliament’s portfolio committee on water and sanitation has lamented that White commercial farmers are not helping matters as they have been living large off stolen water.
The chairperson wailed that the White commercial farmers in the Vaal River, Gariep Dam and Humansdorp areas are involved in a rampant theft of water from municipalities.
Speaking at SA Local Government Association release of the 2015 Water Services Municipal report, Johnson pointed out that “while South Africans continue to cry foul about drought, water remains in some few hands all in the name of water right owners contradicting a notion that says water is owned by the state and that the minister is a custodian of the resource.”
Johnson complained that “White commercial farmers have become so rampant…” According to him, “the commercial farmers there live large, paying nothing for water stolen and not synthesized.”
He stated that South Africa has lost a large amount to the said water theft irrespective of the fact that the committee cannot quantify what the nation has lost.
“Frankly speaking, that is the major challenge that we are not able to quantify,” Johnson said.
Reporting this, News24 related that the chairperson as well disclosed to them that the mining sector is as well, involved in water theft. He related that “at some point we had a figure of 104 mines that were operating without any water license, this is a matter that is called rampant…”
President Zuma once remarked that “South Africa is rapidly growing into a water-scarce country, particularly due to broader changes which are caused by climate change and global warming.”