Picture: 123RF/VACLAW VOLRAB
Picture: 123RF/VACLAW VOLRAB

The numerous consequences of the US obsession to inflict war upon the world are now glaring. The US military is by far the world’s worst polluter and contributor to global warming. Yet under the fake guise of “national security”,  military contamination has been excluded from climate negotiations.

A significant proportion of the $2-trillion spent annually on war preparations must immediately be reallocated to renewable energy and other sustainable alternatives.  A just-released report by the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC entitled “State of Insecurity: The Cost of Militarisation since 9/11”  finds that the US has spent $21-trillion on foreign and domestic militarisation during the past two decades. 

The pending crises of climate change were identified by scientists over three decades ago, but were dismissed by warmongers. Hurricane Ida in Louisiana, the floods in New York and surrounding states, plus the fires in California, Oregon, WashingtonState and British Columbia are a belated wake-up call, even to American militarists, that climate change and its catastrophic consequences must be prioritised.

September 3 marked the third anniversary of the explosion at Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) in Somerset West, near Cape Town, that killed eight workers. Pravin Gordhan declared in 2018 that no stone would be left unturned to discover what happened. 

Testimonies at public labour department inquiry hearings in May this year confirmed a cover-up and gross management incompetence. An RDM report in 2019 had disgracefully tried to shift the blame onto supervisor Nico Samuels.  And in addition to the explosion, RDM has been confirmed as complicit in Saudi/UAE war crimes in Yemen.

It is not rocket science to “connect-the-dots” between weapons proliferation, climate change, wars, refugees and economic collapse. As regards safety and the environment, ammunition factories emit more than twice the pollution than even oil refineries. What are RDM’s health consequences for both workers and the Somerset West and Cape Flats communities?

Given the huge capital investments required, almost any other industry creates more and better jobs. The war business must urgently be put outofbusiness. Just when is Gordhan finally going to acknowledge what was evident back in 1994/1995 during the Cameron commission of inquiry that Denel is an apartheid-era hangover that is managerially incompetent, irredeemably corrupt, and unfixable?

Just when is he as public enterprises minister going to stop pouring tens-of-billions of rand of public money into Eskom, SAA, Denel and other unfixable state-owned enterprises for which he is accountable and responsible?

Terry Crawford-Browne, World Beyond War SA

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