NEWS
29/01/2018 15:47 SAST | Updated 29/01/2018 15:47 SAST

Water Crisis: When Panic Sets In, Cool Heads Needed – AgriSA

"As the current drought crisis worsens, panic begins to set in, and an already fractured and polarised society goes to war with itself."

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It has been dubbed "the worst drought in a century" -- a drought the department of water and sanitation says it "unfortunately never predicted or anticipated".

AgriSA has warned that the threat of panic is beginning to creep as the water runs dry -- and this is when cool heads and steady leadership are needed.

'It is feared that the worst is yet to come for Western Cape'– Janse Rabie: AgriSA head of natural resources

Read: Doomsday: When Day Zero Arrives

"As the largest user of water (incidentally not only in South Africa but globally too), the agricultural sector is an obvious and easy target for those taking part in the blame game," said Janse Rabie, AgriSA head of natural resources.

Mike Hutchings / Reuters

"As the current drought crisis worsens, panic begins to set in -- and an already fractured and polarised society goes to war with itself. Accusations begin to fly and fingers get pointed -- somebody needs to be blamed, and somebody needs to pay. Half-truths and blatant lies are peddled in the press and on social media as if de rigueur [sic]. Political infighting and opportunism are the order of the day."

Read: Zille Slams Minister And Department Of Water and Sanitation

Just last week, Western Cape premier Helen Zille publicly blamed Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and her department for not finding solutions to the water crisis in that province.

Mark Wessells / Reuters

"It is feared that the worst is yet to come for Western Cape," said Rabie. "In this time, cool heads are needed to avert a catastrophe."

Read: 36 Percent Of South Africa's Water Is Lost Unnecessarily

According to TimesLive, Western Cape premier Helen Zille said the challenge [Day Zero] is greater than World War 2 or the aftermath of 9/11 in New York.

"AgriSA looks forward to working together with the department of water and sanitation and, in particular, minister Nomvula Mokonyane, in dealing with the effects of the persistent drought ravaging Western Cape and adjacent areas at this time," Rabie said.