South Africa's Business Professionals address the President about the Cape Town Water Crisis
Hello, and welcome, I'm your host Bridgette Elam bandar from Cape Town South Africa greetings. Mr. president and, thank you for your time today. We present you with thoughts and messages, from our business leaders with regards, to the Cape Town water crisis, first. Is Fred, Platt who's the CEO of accentuate, limited, a JC, listed, company, he's a proud African and, water, activist. Welcome. Fred. Mr.. President, when. You start understanding. That. Water is a national, asset and they. Ended in the ultimate, economic enabler. Then. Water becomes, a central, theme to our national, development plan, and. Driven. By a strong, national. Leadership. Moving. Towards. A. National. Water, plan that enables, and is. A drive of success, as opposed, to moving from one national, crisis, to the next, the. Solution, to the current water crisis, is not a technology. Driven one but rather one, that has its roots in a, political, decision, and a political, understanding of, the, value, of, water. And the context. Of, leadership. That creates an enabling. Environment where. We can use, water. To become central. I've. Called, for your leadership, intervention. In order to establish a, water. Wall. Room where, we can embrace, the, concept and, the planning, of a, central, water strategy. That, will be central. Not only, in terms of providing. Solutions. To the current crisis, but also creates. The, environment. In which we, can look at job creation we, can look at development, and we, can look at the land issue within a. Comprehensive. Framework I. Think. What. What drives my, thinking. Is looking. At international. Countries, such as the, UAE. Israel. Maybe or even. Singapore. All water, starved countries, that. Have seen, water and used, water, as the ultimate economic enabler. Historically. We know that communities. Settled, down next to water the. Presence. Of water creates. Activity. The absence, of water we know will, ultimately, lead to the demise of a society, as maybe, it has done in other civilizations. Like the Mayan civilization. Over. The ages so, if we understand, the value of water then, we have a very very different approach to water and then we need to take a couple of strong. Decisions. Number. One the, understanding. That water is the ultimate, in a blur when we have water if we fly over the Karoo and we see the Orange River we, will see lots of economic activity, and then if we just passed past we.
Will See a desert, the, presence, of water is the enabler, and may. Be part. Of our land issue is not so much a land issue but a water issue and I. Think that debate needs to take, place the. Second thing is the understanding. That water is a national, asset and has, to be dealt with accordingly. And, then finally, what it is not consumed, it is merely moved, from one state to the next therefore. We are custodians of. Water and, and. We. May not. Just. Dispose, of water we have a responsibility, to, reclaim. That water reuse that, water and, hand, it over to the next generation. Water. Creates. Employment. It's a driver of development, and. As I mentioned central to the land issue. When. We understand, all of this then we move away from looking at water as an infant water infrastructure, as a cost, to. A investment. In our future to. An investment, in development, and growth. But. As I said it starts with the political, decision. It starts with leadership all. Water, must, be recycled. See, rich and affluent is, an opportunity, it's not a cost and a. Comprehensive. Political framework. Dealing. With pricing. Dealing. With planning, permissions, now planning permission, should be given and laces addresses, the issue of water and the reclamation of water and then, ultimately as, a society. Moving towards, a zero, discharge situation. Once we understand, all of that we can apply a multitude. Of technologies and people will be lining up to fund it mr., president, we look forward to working with you in this regard next. We have viola, Manuel, viola. Is the CEO of the water Li person and NPC. Working, in the water sustainability. Space. Good. Welcome. Thank. You good. Day mr. president just, a very short introduction on the overall, objectives, of water vapor fun we. About. A year ago recognized, that there needed to be an ongoing conversation, in, the water space and specifically, around the, water shortages, which were starting to make. An appearance in the discourse. And, we. Have course planned a lot of face to face discussions. High-level. Brainstorming. Sessions, and, our objectives. Really were two champions, short medium but more importantly, long term solutions. That. Will help us create. Some kind, of solution for the long term through. Sub-saharan, Africa we of course knew that we had to start with our beautiful country and specifically, look at the case study Cape Town was now offering us and the whole objective was, how would we look at these long-term solutions. To alleviate, any kind of future. Jobs to, do this of course we needed to fully grasp the problem, and one of the things we needed to do was really start saying do we understand, supply, demand. And storage of water but. More importantly, did we understand, the socio-economic, and, upliftment, employment. And economic growth, challenges. That, were now facing, our city. Ideally. We would like to see Cape Town and it surrounds with. An oversupply, of water for its people for industries, especially industries, like agriculture, and of, course the ultimate goal, or mission of water leaper for me is really to see can. We get to a point where, we have a water abundant. Economy, a water abundant, economy, that, can actually mitigate the, ravages of the drought that we're facing so. We looked at how could we start. Depending on Tecna, and, and other means to look at dealing, with this issue and of, course you enhance the demand size reduction, but also speaking, specifically, about consumer. Engagement so, we, started having those discussions on engaging, and, what. Ali Pathan what we've done is we've created a very strong, media alliance, because we do believe that the media are going to be very important, in these long-term solutions.
And. We have a strategic partnership, with an publication. Called the messenger the tape messenger, and Messenger. Over. The last few months have dedicated about. Seventy ten of the articles, speaking. To specialists, and academics, on this water issue but also speaking to your sort, of on-the-ground citizen, and asking people to contribute, to, the water discourse, as well, as having a positive ongoing. Engagement with, all social. Partners, and. One of the things we were able to do is start engaging with labor. And government and, civil, society started. Talking to them about the long-term, solutions. And every, single social partner, was, very willing to start contributing, to those discussions, and moving past the blame game one. Of the things we did find is that we had a lot. More intense discussion, with private, sector and private, sector one. Of our sessions resulted. In a very good outcome. And that was that we needed to create six. Subcommittees. To start looking at the long term solution. More holistically. So. The first three we've sort of pocketed, together and that's the technical, subcommittee, which, really looks at the technical, aspects, of desalination, and. Reuse, recycling. And then. We had a legal and regulatory, subcommittee. That, would look at how good national government. Address. Regulatory. Challenges, towards, these long-term solutions, and of course we also created a subcommittee, looking at funding, how would we fund, long, term solutions, and what would the framework, be that these long-term solutions. Would find themselves in what with the context, be we, had another pocket of police subcommittee, so we started looking at things like the community. Education. Of the community, but also citizen. Engagement and, here, again we established, a very good relationship, with the innovation, Technology, Group. And they created a fantastic. System called in my one zone space, where. It was really along the the guidelines of a fourth Industrial, Revolution will be start speaking about citizen, engagement putting. The citizen at seem to of engagement, and actually. Leaning very strongly, on that citizen, for, high levels of innovation, an, innovative, thinking you. Know we all are depending on national government, and the private sector to contribute, to this innovated. And forward thinking towards the long term solutions but we felt that citizens, of South Africa could also make a contribution to, that the. My one zone space is really it's a, integrated. Citizen, life cycle. Engagement, platform, and as much as that sounds. Like a mouthful, what it basically does is it allows citizens, at different ages, and different stages, of their lives to contribute. To. Issues like the crisis. On the long term solutions, so, it offers bi-directional. And it enables. Bi-directional. Engagement, which was something they were quite excited about the. Subcommittee. Really looked at innovation. Skills, entrepreneurship. And started, speaking about what skills would be required, in the sort of abandoned economy, and, how do we get ready for that skill set and then, the sixth subcommittee. Would really be looking at the science of water ongoing, R&D, around. The science of water what. Do we were hoping, will happen is that and what we are working towards and what will possibly happen, is that these six am subcommittees, once they have done their work within.
Contribute. To a, discussion. Around, PPP. And and. Specific, PPP, is in this water solution, space really. Looking at long term solutions. One, of the important, things of course is that we want to learn from our neighbors and say how possible, is it for, us to have these ppp's, basically. Ran and directed, by private. Sector funded. By private sector we, do recognize, that for. Example long term solutions, that are being put on the table are desalination, there's. Only cut these economic, implications to, desalination it's an extremely, expensive exercise. If you're doing lots of small diesel plans but, how can we actually start, putting the economics, in our favor by creating, bigger, projects, where we are all working together to create this project, and we're all contributing to funding, those projects together so. Mr. president that's our contribution that's the work we have already been, doing and we would love to have a conversation to actually sit down and unpack the detail of what we've done and possibly. Our plans forward, in with what we have as a foundation, how how we could actually build on that thank, you very much. Thank. You viola a. Mixed. We have Peter Rose warren peter, has a BSC, honours degree. In geology and, an MSc, in hydrogeology. And he, has over, 40 years experience in groundwater related. Projects. Dear. Mr. president and. I'd. Like to talk to you about some issues, concerning. Groundwater, in the city of Cape Town and this. Really surrounds, three main issues one. Is the city's development of, major. Aquifers, or groundwater. Augmentation. Another. One it is a development, by the city and, government. Departments for halls for schools hospitals. And parks and the, other one is the issue. Of multiple. Installations. Of, balls by private landowners, and homeowners. So. If we look at the the bigger picture. Cape. Town is surrounded by three major, aquifers, that I call the big three this.
Is The Table, Mountain group the. Atlantis, and the K+ aquifers, the. Atlantis and Cape thoughts aquifers, are two of the most highly researched aquifers, in the country and the. Table non-tree of aquifers been investigated. By the city since 2002. However. As far as I know since. About the 1980s, from, the Atlantis aquifer, there's been no new ground water, suppliers. Coming, through and being. Integrated into these cities grown, water. Supply systems. Another. Concerning, thing is that the. Type. Of man's group aquifer, Atlantis, and Cape Flats aquifer, projects are the, three biggest realm, of the projects ever run by the city and it's. A concern to me that this is all being carried. Out by one consultant, and, there's no public, for, this work this. Seems to be to be a high-risk strategy. And. There's very little transparency, a, quick, example of this is the city has, been talking about having film new, groundwater, and. That's all they say this seems a bit strange when we just had the three driest, years in the last 100, years that, they've. Sadly found some new groundwater so. To my mind there's a very minimum we. Need more inclusivity, in, terms of the expertise available in, the city and. As again a pair minimum. Peer. Review by credible independent. Consultant. Or consultants. Now. If you move on to the what. Seems like a lesser. Issue, the. Private gravel to use and. As. Tamiya, understanding, was over, twenty-two thousand, registered balls, within, the Greater, city. Of Cape Town area, and I'm. Sure there are many many thousands, of unregistered, balls on. Top of that and. So. Will supply which may. Be approaching, they zero at some stage. In the future, now. Again to the best of my knowledge we, have no idea how. Much growth can be sustained, by these local aquifers, which are mainly different, to the three big aquifers, that are being, investigated. By the city no. Idea how much growth can be sustained, and no idea how much groundwater is actually being pumped from these aquifers, and, I think this is going to lead to a mini, environmental. Disaster, well. Many, of these Falls are going to Beason start drying up people are gonna be over pumping as. A possibility, of sea water intrusion and certainly. An issue on a lot of people's minds based on on, comments so they've been received so. I think an urgent. Requirement. Is for somebody, to get a whole on the. Amount of water that's being pumped from these these, local aquifers, so. That's just a very brief run-through of some of the groundwater issues that I see in. The Greater Cape Town area not. Really any solutions, there one, thing that does occur to be is that to increase, gravel abstraction, on the Cape Flats could. Well alleviate, the, annual flooding that we see there that's, not really flooding in terms of rivers overflowing, its water table rising so. If there's increased ground with the abstraction. Taking. The water table deeper that, we won't see a reduction, in flooding. Of the informal, settlements that we see normally, every year I'm. Not sure if this is something that the city is actively looking at. So. In a bit of a nutshell that's my take, on some of the ground water issues in cotton and, thank you for your time as the president and look. Forward to the possibility of some future, constructive. Interaction, thank you very much. Thank. You Peter. Dr.. Mark dent holds, a PhD in engineering water. Resources, and an mba is also the author of over 80 research, papers.
Then. I go ahead progeny, yes. Please do, a. Good. Evening mr. president, thank, you for this opportunity to, address you I, must. Stress, that this is not just about Cape Town in 2016. It was Richards Bay now. It's Cape Town and tomorrow, standby. For Port Elizabeth and who, knows when, it will be how things sir. This. Issue. Really. Needs to be framed in the risk. Narrative. Risk. Is not only a factor of the event and the, probability. Of that happening but. It's also strongly. Linked, to the, response, from. All societal, actors if. The response is too late, chaotic, and, coordinated. And financially, wasteful, then, the damage caused is, far greater than, if the response, is timely. Cue, to good systemic. Understanding. And wise, because, there. Is time to think about and clearly. Articulate. Options, to choose from and then, coordinate, the. Responses, from all the stakeholders, who. If. They, have engaged property, beforehand, trust, one another there's, transparency, the information, is trusted, the transparency. Is key the. Responsibility. From government, in, all this I believe, is to develop a response. Ability. In. The. Society. I just. Want to make three major. Points, in this in relation, to, responsible. Risk, addressing. In this context, the first, one is the water is integral, to all sectors. The. Second point is the inclusive. Economy, strategies, must include water and water, related jobs, and, thirdly. The, skills and capacity does. Exist in South Africa to address these issues successfully. And, comprehensively. And don't. Let anyone make you believe otherwise. Let. Me start with water. As integral, to all sectors, it's. Misleading to talk about the water sector, there. Is no such thing. As the, water sector all, sectors, are critically, dependent, on water and need. To, engage one another in water matters, under the oversight of government if, one's looking for evidence of this the, United Nations sustainable development. Goals water, is integral, to all 17. The. World Economic Forum's. Global Risk, report, in 2015, based. Water as the number one global risk, they, start, that report with a hyper connectivity, of all. Their factors, and water is connected, to all of them in. Capetown we see the effect on the broad, range of societal, actors, our. Own policy, and legislation, framework. Is about, inclusive, engagement, of all stakeholders. We. Also need to look no further than the food energy water, Nexus phenomenon. In. A hyper-connected, world, we. Are extra, hyper connected, to water and waters hyper connected, to jobs and hence. The World Economic Forum, Global Risk report, placing, it as number one, the. Links on, the inclusive, economy, strategy, and conversations. Must include water, there, are very strong arguments, to be made to, show how appropriate, grassroots, efforts, in. Water related. Matters, can contribute significantly to, our inclusive economy, challenges. Manship. Youth with smartphones, and Google Earth links, to monitor, protocol leaks, water. Harvesting with, townships, and food security solid. Waste management recycling. Alien, invasive clearing, and streams in catchment, areas this. Is an engagement and citizen science that spawns low transaction costs business, models for, evaluating. Monitoring. And rewarding activities, in therefore mentions. Would. Be central province, of economy discussions. Finally. I want to speak, about the skills and capacity, I believe. It does exist in South Africa to address these issues both, successfully. And comprehensively, as a. Country, we are organizing, our skills and knowledge base that we have in, a way that leaves vast vast, room for improvement, just. Retaining water, is. A good. Step forward our, policy, and legislative, frame, provide. Potential. Crucibles. For engagement, by. The implementation, that we know for. Various reasons. All. Of which are surmountable and. Mainly. Because, of short-sighted. Selfishness. And we. Know better than this but we're just not willing to change, in. Government in business. Consultants. And some civil, society, organizations. And many academics. The, silo mentality has, prevailed. Fragmentation. Of efforts around water have helped the, business models, of many role, players and these, business models have crippled, the country the. Metaphor, of trying to play football with cardboard cylinders. On our, eyes is one that comes to mind, finally. Just to recap, water. Is integral, to all sectors. Inclusive. Economy, strategies, must include water and the. Sufficient capacity does. Exist, to successfully, address our problems, Thank, You mr. president. Thank. You very much for your contribution, mark next up we have. Been. Wala Roy, Benoit. Is a chemical engineer, with over 30 years experience across. Many different sectors.
Mr.. President, good evening I have, one. Simple statement and, that is. Why can you not make water, national. Priority. As the, ultimate enabler. And I say this only for two to. Brief reasons, the, first one is that. The. Ministry, involved, seems to be the smallest one. Of the smallest ministries. With. A budget of below 20 billion per annum and an. Accumulated. Infrastructure. Areas deficit. Of, 800. Billion, rand. Secondly. The blue and green drop reports, that. Were devised by, department. Water sanitation. As key. Indicators. Of the health of our, potable water suppliers, and on, our wastewater, treatment or sewage treatment have. Been withheld from, the. Public domain, for two three maybe even four years now. We. Know that over 50% of, the. Sewage is untreated, and. Poisoning. Our rural. Population. Our water causes, agriculture. Etc so. If we take these, two issues, in. My very simple mind, waters not a natural priority and it. Is really, I think, in, you. Mr. president's, ambit, to. Enable. It to become, our first, priority, and, that. Will unlock, the. Economy. And inclusive growth of South Africa thank, you. Thank. You very much Benoit next. Up we. We. Have dr., Anthony curtain. Anthony. Turton is a strategist. And a scientist. And a water strategists who pioneered the concept of, water as a corporate, risk. Good. Evening am, I in laughs, yes. You are, good. Evening mr. president, it is indeed a profound, pleasure, and privilege to address you tonight at. Address you as my president and I. Salute. The fact that you have come to power the, grave a dark moment but, you you've, breathed the fresh of breath air into. The body politic, and you've, given us a new vision of hope and a, new vision of a new. Dawn so. I would like to to. Say something, briefly to you tonight, and what. I'd like to say is that way. We've managed water up to now has, been based on a false, premise and, that, false premise, is that, water, is a finite resource, and that South, Africa is the 30th Dreyse country, in the world these. Are not true premises these are false premises. South Africa is not the 30th country. And, water. Is, not a stock water. In fact is a flux that moves in time and space and when. We continue, to talk about this paradigm, of scarcity, we, have done all we can to squeeze the last drop of water available. National Water isms, and in, so doing all, we are doing now is sowing, the, seeds of despair, because we can get no more water from from, from the reservoir from what we have and ultimately. We need to recognize, that in order to reach one of these noble. Visions. And that we have those, objectives, we, are ultimately a, warped of constrained, economy, so, my challenge to you mr. president, is to use your noble office to, start speaking. A new language and, that new language, is about water water. As a as. An enabler, to to. Refer. To Fred, Platts before me but ultimately, the, paradigm, of abundance the. Truth, of the matter is that the chemistry, and physics, of water are, extremely. Well understood. Today and we, know that water is, not, a finite. Resource it is an infinitely, renewable, resource. Therefore. We actually have an abundance, of water in South Africa, all, we need to unlock, their abundance is, a simple, thing called policy certainty, if, we have policy, certainty, we, can then attract capital and, technology. Into that space I can, tell you with a high level of confidence that, we do not have a shortage of capital, and I can tell you with a high level of confidence that we have an almost, infinite choice, of of technologies. Available to, us we, have highly skilled people in South Africa, so, if we can get this new paradigm. Of abundance, up whereby. We create jobs, through, water whereby we attract, foreign. Direct investment, back into the country whereby we we. We asked, a euro and dollar based, tourists to come to Cape Town and to flush the toilet as many times as they feel comfortable because every, drop of that water will be recycled, we, need to look no further than, the city of Perth in Western Australia. Which, is in a climatic. Climatically. Identical. To the Western pack and in, the city of Perth you have 1.2. Million people from. Which they recover, 120. Megalitres, of high-quality water, every day from their sewage effluent you so, so 1.2, million people equals, 120.
Milliliters Cape town is a city of 4 million we, can potentially recover, 400. Million litres a day of high. Quality water to enable, the economy, instead, what we are doing is we are freshly and out and see and we are poisoning, the ecosystems. And we are making people angry and unhappy so. My challenge to you mr., mr. president, will be supported, by my whatever. Support, I can muster, please. Start speaking the language, of abundance. And we need to understand, that water, is an abundant, resource that our economy, is only constrained, or the fact that we do not accept the science of the physics of water that it is the infinitely renewable. Source. And my challenge to you sir is to bring about policy, certainty, so that we can attract capital and, technology. To them into. That space and closing. I would like to say that one, of the fictions, that is currently being propagated, for reasons unknown to me is that desalination, is, too expensive, too. Expensive compared. To one spot too. Expensive compared, to have a broken, economy with. No job creation, too expensive compared, to an. Economy where we were capital, flight taking place too, expensive to to look around the millions, of unemployed people in our when, we can bring it in a car and a cubic metre program, a cubic meter that's not too expensive I think that's a decent honest price to pay for, for, for for insulating. I come from the Bay Area so. We need an honest conversation and this value, mr. prison you're an honest man of integrity. We have my support, I'm deeply. Profoundly, respecter of you you're my, president, and I like to think of you as our collective. Prison country, Thank You mr. president. I. Apologize. For the lack of sign. We. Have in the marina infirmary. Okay, of the board of the captain, tourism, and lead, chair of James the joint association, members meeting sessions. In. Their welcome, thank. You. I'm. Here. Can. I speak you. May go ahead, all. Right dear, mr. president in. Your SONA you place the spotlight on the tourism sector as one loaded opportunities, this. Is certainly true as we currently contribute. 38 billion and. 300,000. Jobs to the provincial economy, with. A distinct, ability to girl this even, more i reverse. The sector. Is under direct. Threat by the current water crisis, and at. Risk are the livelihoods the. Jobs the. Families, and the. Substantial, contribution. To the, local economy. Also. At risk is, our brand as a tourist destination internationally. And i think you would know that once you damage, your reputation it. Is difficult to get it back my. Ass therefore and we offer the tourism industry in Cape Town and the Western claim is one that, you release the four hundred and seventy three million in trot relief funds to, the areas affected dual, our local government, to expedite, the, relief efforts that. You look at building infrastructure, to, increase them capacity possibly. In the new catchment, areas as this, seems to be shifting due to global warming and. Another. Something. About the rescue is to make available, fat. To make fan funding sorry available, to explore alternative. Water. Sources, so that we not entirely dependent, on the rains such as desalination, we. Also ask you to keep engaging, with, the tourism industry as a very real solution, to job creation and economic growth and last, but not least, please. Spread the word that kept on opens remains, open for business one of the problems we're having is that we have such a lot of negative, publicity out, there about day. Zero, and. Negate the negative publicity comes. From within our own shows and not only offshore so, please speak to the, other provinces and please, speak to our. Guests, and our visitors overseas, that captain is definitely, open for visitors and they, zero should it come we'll, still be looking after our guests and after, our visitors thank, you and I trust that my request will fallen fatales well thank you. Thank. You very much I would like to thank all the participants this, evening, thank you for your messages to our president, with regards to the water crisis, and we. Look forward to welcoming you again, soon, on a similar, program thank. You gentlemen and thank. You viola, Manuel for joining us this evening.