South Africa’s water crisis is a state of emergency

From Cape Town to Limpopo, The Department of Water and Sanitation is rolling out water restrictions, asking residents to use water moderately as dam water levels remain substantially low.

In response to these water restrictions 350Africa is calling on the government to declare the water scarcity crisis as a state of emergency. “The current drought period will not be alleviated by placing water restrictions on communities.

Rather, fossil fuel industries, the largest users and polluters, need to claim responsibility to the long term impacts caused from destructive mining, which have drastically altered our weather patterns”, said Landry Ninteretse350AfricaRegional Team Leader.

While regulations are being placed on households to prevent water mis-use, the government is approving and granting Integrated Water use Licenses to mining companies such Coal of Africa (CoAl). The mining industry is one of the largest consumers of water in the country and the government’s double standards in granting them licenses severely undermines the water crisis.

“Now more than ever we need to urgently escalate measures and precautions ensuring major industries such as mining are playing their part in the preservation of this limited resource. South Africa needs to show leadership in the fight against climate change and strive for a Fossil Free Africa,” added Ninteretse.

Notes to editor

Makhado Mine and Vele Colliery both owned by Coal of Africa (CoAL) is an example of the coal mining industry’s growing coal appetite during the crisis.

Water Access in South Africa providing background to South Africa’s current water situation.

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