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Malema expresses interest in Israel’s proposed solutions to water crisis

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Julius Malema, commander-in-chief of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), said this week that if Israel could solve the water problem across South Africa in a “real” and “permanent” way – and not just in Cape Town – his party would start lobbying its support.
by NICOLA MILTZ | Feb 08, 2018

This is the first time ever that Israel’s water shortage solutions for South Africa have been given any public attention – and by an unlikely voice.

Malema mentioned Israel when he spoke to journalists during a press conference at the EFF headquarters in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. He was giving a report-back on the party’s fourth plenum, held in Johannesburg last weekend.

This is significant, considering it follows the EFF’s historic introductory meeting last week with the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD). The country’s water crisis, as well as several other issues, came up for discussion at the meeting, in which several Jewish communal leaders and leaders of the EFF were present.

A week later, Malema told journalists that if Israel could solve the country’s water problems, his party would be behind it.

Referring to Israelis as “people we must listen to”, Malema went on to say that Cape Town’s water crisis was not an issue for the EFF as it was equally, if not more, concerned with shortages in other parts of the country such as Blouberg municipality and Giyani, both in Limpopo, whose residents – the majority of them black – were living without water.

“South Africa has a problem with water. Black people have stayed without water for a very long time. They are still without water today. They don’t know what Day Zero is because they have never had Day One in their lives,” he said.

“The water issue is a national phenomenon. We treat the Cape Town issue in the same way we treat the Giyani issue. There’s nothing special about Cape Town water. It must not be because it has white people in it that therefore we must hear a lot of noise about it. There is a problem of water in the country. At least Cape Town is going to have a Day Zero; they will feel what the Giyani people have been feeling throughout.”

Malema said the EFF had “never been excited” about the Cape Town water crisis because “our people drink water with animals”.

Making the point that he’d seen trucks deliver water to Cape Town but never to places like Blouberg or Giyani, Malema told journalists that when he was in Blouberg, he had seen a dead animal in the same dam that local residents were still using for drinking water.

“There was no coverage of it, no trucks of water and no Jewish promises or solutions. Because only now we hear the Jewish board of deputies has got solutions for Cape Town, Israel has got solutions. They are saying that in Israel, where there is generally a lack of water, they created water out of nothing and that they can create water in Cape Town.

“Let’s see if it is real... anyone with a solution of water which is permanent must start in Giyani, in Blouberg. Then the EFF will start lobbying. Then we will say: ‘These are the people we must listen to.’”

Wendy Kahn, national director of the SAJBD, said the board would host a water symposium next week to address the country’s pressing water issues.

“The board is very concerned about shortages of water throughout our country and we are working with many partners to find ways that we can contribute as a community.”

Malema urged that the water problem in Cape Town not become politicised, saying: “Let the problem of Cape Town be solved in the same way as we demand that the problem of water must be solved in the whole of South Africa. Let there be a collective effort.”

1 Comment

  1. 1 Gary Selikow 08 Feb
    Hats off to Julius Malema. Even though he is not a friend of Israel he cares about his people more than he hates Israel unlike the ANC which would rather let the poor perish than have anything positive to do with Israel.

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