ON THE WATER
NEELS BLOM: Deaf government has left it too late to fix SA’s water crisis
In Ugu, a peri-urban sprawl in Kwazulu-Natal, Day Zero has prevailed for two years
Once a year, SA’s engineers throw a breakfast gathering for the media during which they convey a strong message: technology will save the country from everything, including the water crisis— and engineers have the technology to do it. Nothing wrong with that, as spin goes. It is quite efficient and effective. In 2018, Consulting Engineers SA (Cesa) president Neresh Pather said National Treasury must create a directorate for infrastructure because, well, the way state procurement for infrastructure projects was being handled led to bad things. Pather did not quite call it "state capture", but the nation knows procurement is the means and motivation for state capture. Cesa, too, has its eye on the government’s chronically delayed R4-trillion infrastructure plan for the next 15 years, which might give it more cause to deplore the depths to which SA has sunk. During question time, the discussion got specific. Asked about the Cape’s water crisis, Pather quickly remedied certain misconcep...