Judging by their actions and utterances, our leaders are oblivious to the climate crisis taking place around the world, including in SA. Some parts of our country have not experienced rain for more than six years. Dams are drying up and borehole water is becoming more saline. Whole communities are dependent on charity water tankers. Farmers are selling or moving stock. Crop yields are down. Species are dying out. Tourism is going to wilt as potential visitors count the carbon cost of long flights here. Unless we do something drastic soon, things are going to get worse, much worse.

The president doesn’t need an expensive economic advisory council to tell him what to do; it’s obvious. Close all our coal-fired power stations with their emissions of carbon dioxide and soot, and water-guzzling propensity. Get the private sector to build solar and wind energy facilities. Subsidise small-scale PV installations on homes, offices and factories. Convert our car-making plants to make ele...

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