A week ago, South Africa's largest commercial farmers' union urged the acting-president to declare a national emergency over the country's dangerously-polluted fresh water resources.
In a joint meeting with the commercial banking and farming sector and South Africa's acting-president Kgalema Motlanthe, the government was warned if fresh-water streams, dams and lakes were not cleaned up urgently, the country would soon plunge into an unprecedented humanitarian and economic crisis.
See our previous story here
The parliamentary joint working group meeting with South Africa's commercial community and the acting president was called after the country's top water-research expert, Dr Anthony Turton of the state-funded Council for Scientific and Industrial Research warned last week that South Africa was facing very rapid socio-economic collapse due to the heavily polluted South African fresh-water resources. He has since resigned, see here
He warned that all its fresh water supplies now were so heavily polluted with human excrement and waste from some 80,000 overcrowded squatter camps, chemical waste from the country's thousands of industries and mines that South Africa's very low rainfall was unable to wash it clean any longer. Even the aquifers were getting polluted. An urgent cleanup was needed - and the farmers urged the president to start with the countrywide cleanup by hiring 'competent municipal engineers' instead of unqualified ANC-cronies to repair the 181 broken municipal water-purification plants countrywide.
This massive breakdown of the country's water purification systems was mainly due to to the fact that more than 9,000 municipal posts fell vacant after some 80% of the country's most qualified engineers emigrated since 1994 after losing their jobs due to the ANC government's black-economic empowerment laws. Turton, initially suspended from the state-run Council for Science and Industrial Research for telling the truth in his report, has since resigned.
He warns in his document that due to the fact that South Africa gets so little rainfall, as does all of southern Africa; and also now is rapidly polluting with feces and chemicals all of its scarce water-resources - the 'dilution factor' -- washing pollutants from the water with the country's less than 450mm annual rainfall -- no longer exists.
The chemical and fecal waste levels have simply become far too high in SA open-water supplies to still get cleaned up by any annual rains. Even crocodiles - creatures with the oldest and best immune systems on the planet -- are now dying of this pollution, by eating fishes who are dying from it in the Crocodile river at the Kruger National Wildlife Park.
Declare a national emergency, farmers urge president:
Yesterday, the country's largest commercial farmers' union urged acting-president Kgalema Motlanthe to declare a national emergency over the water crisis. Its chairman, Ben Marais, who represents about 13,000 Afrikaans-speaking farmers in the Transvaal Agricultural Union (TLU) warned that emergency measures were needed to assure that consumers' health would not be endangered from crops being contaminated by the country's heavily-polluted water.