CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) --
South African MPs warned on Tuesday that pointing
fingers at each other would turn the worsening water crisis in
the city of Cape Town into “a political point-scoring match”.
The city deserves
leadership and guidance during this time and all spheres of
government must meet their specific responsibilities to ensure
the continued availability of water, Parliament’s Select
Committee on Social Services said.
This came as Cape
Town was about to run out of water due to the most severe
drought that has gripped the city in history.
Administered by the
opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), the city has announced
April 12 this year as Day Zero when dams supplying water to Cape
Town run dry, water taps are switched off and Capetonians have
to collect water at designated points.
The DA is facing
mounting criticism for its negligence of duty that has led to
the deepening water crisis.
But the party said
there is a misconception that it’s the sole responsibility of
the city to address the water crisis.
“It is the
constitutional mandate of the national government to deliver
water to all municipalities,” DA leader Mmusi Maimane said last
The city has
repeatedly urged President Jacob Zuma to declare the water
crisis “a national disaster.” But Zuma has not responded to the
Last week, Minister
of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane refuted criticism
against the national government.
The minister said
the DA was trying to absolve itself of its responsibilities in
the management of the water crisis through an attempt to
mischievously create scapegoats and shift the blame onto the
The exchange of
blames between the local and national governments has fueled
panic among Capetonians.
This prompted MPs to
intervene by calling for an end to finger pointing.
In a statement,
Parliament’s Select Committee on Social Services reiterated the
need for collaboration between all three spheres of government
to provide the requisite leadership and guidance in these times
stressed the importance of full cooperation between the national
Departments of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs,
and Water and Sanitation; the Western Cape Department of Local
Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning,
together with the City of Cape Town, in finding solutions to
The committee also
called for changes in water-use behavior.
“The people of Cape
Town must also chip in and assist by reducing consumption and
adhering to restrictions,” Committee Chairperson Cathy Dlamini
are requested to use not more than 87 litres of water per person
per day. But beginning from February 1, the allocation will be
reduced to 50 litres.
The city has
complained that about 60 percent of Capetonians have not
responded to the call to save water.
As the second-most
populous urban area in South Africa after Johannesburg, Cape
Town is the capital of the Western Cape Province and the seat of
South Africa’s Parliament, with a population of about six
South Africa and South Sudan
ink military cooperation deal
JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
South Sudan’s defense ministry on Tuesday signed
Memorandum of Understanding with the South African counterpart
that will involve training of officers from the Sudan People’s
Liberation Army (SPLA), exchange of information and visits
between the two countries.
Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs, Kuol Manyang Juuk, said
the agreement he signed with his South African counterpart
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, involves training, exchange of
information and visits will help strengthen the already existing
cooperation in the security sector of the two countries.
“The MoU we are
signing involves training, exchange of information and visits,”
said Juuk, adding that this is part of the ongoing effort by
African countries to strengthen security cooperation.
He disclosed that
some of their military officers, civil servants and diplomats
have benefited from training in South Africa since 2004 prior to
the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005
that won South Sudan independence from Sudan in 2011.
“In 2004 when we
were preparing to sign the CPA, South Africa offered to train
our (military) officers, civil servants and diplomats,” he
South Sudan remains
embroiled in civil strife amid huge humanitarian crisis since
eruption of conflict in December 2013; over two million are
displaced in neighboring countries and four million still
displaced from their homes.
under the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have
initiated the High-Level Revitalization Forum to shore up the
now weakened 2015 peace agreement signed between President Salva
Kiir and rebels led by former First Vice President Riek Machar.