Monday 26 March 2012

Corporate Trade Show

A Corporate Trade Show
Pictures by SAVE
The 6th World Water Forum converges at the city of Marseille France from the 12-17 March 2012 under World Water Council, this conference was nothing but a corporate trade show. The World Water Forum has no legitimacy on policy development as it does not represent citizens but it is used by corporations to push their agenda of commodification and privatisation of water and sanitation throughout the world.

The South Africa government especially the Department of Water Affairs allowed to be captured by corporations and to be pushed to privatized water services and infrastructure in the country, through Public-Private Partnership. The minister of water affairs Edna Molewa announced in World Water Forum that South Africa will be looking for Private Investments of 25 billion for the upgrading of 43 Waste Water Treatment Plants who are no functioning around South Africa.

In February at the World Economic Forum in Cape Town the Minister of Water Affairs announced that the department will be signing the agreement with Water Resources Group, to advice the department of Water Affairs, these WRG is lead by Nestle and other corporations that are heavily involved in water privatization of water services and infrastructure around the world and uses more water,

The government claims that these investments will assist to upgrade 43 Waste Water Treatments Plants, but the minister forgot that is the same government  that has allow these Waste Water Treatment Plant to collapse by not appoint people with skills at local government. Department of Water Affairs has failed on its obligations to monitor local government on upgrading and maintenance of the infrastructure especially in rural municipalities and the failer of the Minister to implement the National Water Act,

As citizens of this country we must remind the South African government that section 27 of Constitution guarantees the citizens right to water as the fundamental human  , and the United Nations General Assembly in June 2010 passed a resolution A/Res/64/292 and UN Human Rights Council Passed a resolution CA/HRC/18/L.1 on the human right to safe dinking water and sanitation, we call on the South African Government to distance itself from the declaration  issued on the 13 March 2012 at World Water Forum that failed to recognized water and sanitation as human rights. Water movements in South Africa we need to reject this announcement by the Minister of Water Affairs as it will lead to tariff increases; already government has failed to roll out sanitation and access to clean drinking water. Poor people and those who are living in the rural areas will suffer more.   
Picture by SAVE
The South African government must be held accountable on the health hazard that is being caused by municipalities and industries that are continue polluting water resources. Currently Vaal River is wasted, there are continues pollution incidents that are caused by the very same government.  .

\The South African government has legal binding obligations to respect, protect and fulfill the human rights to water and sanitation to its citizens, and its must immediately implement the National Water Act, and provide clean drinking water and sanitation to poor communities and rural communities, the comodification of water and sanitation must be rejected, and the government must and provide poor municipalities with financial and technical skill to be able to  run and maintain their water treatment plants. 

Working Class Perspectives on Climate Change

Working Class Perspective on Climate Change and Decent Sustainable Jobs with Living wage in South Africa and the world at large by Phineas Malapela

Labour in Particular and working class in general take Marxist approach in analysis of all socio-politico economic concept and climate change like all other concepts cannot be approached from purely neutral scientific view  and technology themselves are defined within particular socio – politico-economic context. As defined by an international socialist scientist GERARD BLOCH “ For Marxist deterioration of the natural substratum of mankind’s productive force constitutes one of the aspects of the increasing conversion by capitalism productive force into destructive “ is what causes the present climate change that threatens our natural environment and existence of humanity in the only scientifically known planet of the living organisms and stopping the destructive forces of capitalism will be the first step towards building the egalitarian or classes society where humans will live in harmony with nature and that is what religious people call Paradise and we socialist call communism.
What is Climate Change?
Our understanding of the relationship of humans and nature is as expounded by Karl Marx’s wage labour and capital “work is first of all an act that takes place between man and nature. Man plays role of natural force acting on nature. At the same time as he is thus acting and making a change on outside himself, he is changing his own nature and developing his own latent faculties” and this is similar to religious perspective that believe humans are bestowed with the attributes of the creators in relations to planet earth not attributes of destroyer that are associated with diabolical nature of the devil. Climate Change that is presently an undisputable destructive path created in pursued of profit to us is a move away from the nature of humans as the Productive forces for development of nature itself towards humans are productive force called human capital that obliterate the true human nature.
What is Climate Jobs?
The climate jobs is all that based on the technological achievement can serve as alternatives to the present destructive pollution based unsustainable jobs offered by extractive industry, but however the technological solutions of the alternative sustainable climate jobs especially the solar energy, geothermal, wind and waves etc. that can be Harnessed by working – class does not make business sense as they re-enforce the real impact of human activity on nature contrary to capitalist system with its imperialist decomposition.

4. What is wrong with Kyoto Protocol?
The declaration of the conference at Kyoto in Japan in December 1987 was not a declaration by the working –class but a declaration by the polluting capitalist forces on how they can pollute better and make profit out of pollution by allocation each other pollution rights and trading such rights to each other to make profit based on speculation economy or gambling or casino economy of stock exchanges. This Kyoto Protocol to working –class represent the capitalist class in the following respects:
4.1 Voluntary Signatories: The biggest polluter throughout the world protecting its multinational corporations and its war factories throughout the world, USA, refused to sign signalling that the phony protocol will not work.
4.2 Decentralisation: The decentralised contrail and rules of self-regulations that goes against the polluter pay principle are tried and failed rules of capitalism and to the polluter who make profit by polluting they are non-starters.
4.3 Externalisation of costs: The declaration is deliberate externalisation of costs between the so called develop world that polluted and are continuing to pollute the globe through their multi-national corporations and collect the profit to enjoy at the relatively controlled environment friendly European conditions leave the developing world with a burden of ecological debits the Johannesburg acid mine drainage and radioactive Westonaria uranium dams as well as burning holes of Mpumalanga.
4.4 Carbon Trading: The carbon trading speculators in the European community and USA had taken gambling to a higher level of trading in pollution or destruction rights as the rich countries can now buy their pollution rights in the stock exchange and pollute with impunity to the destruction of humanity and the planet

Picture by Earthlife

In conclusion capitalism had made humans enemies of themselves and the planet of the living without providing anything in return but destruction.

Thursday 1 March 2012

Changing faces of the Catchment Forums

Rietspruit river
Sewege spillage in Sebokeng
Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance has been participating in the catchments forums for the last three years. In the Vaal Triangle we have Leeukuil, Rietspruit and Leeu-Taaibosspruit. Many people still don’t know about this forums. This forums meet once in three months, venue is decided by the industries in their board rooms, where is not easily accessible for communities to reach.  

These forums bring together stakeholders together to deal with issues such as water quality, water licensing, education and awareness rising. The forums operate within the terms of the NWA (1998) and the NWRS (2004). From the water team, we have trained community members who attend these meetings . The aim of our participation in the forums to engage with water quality issues in mining and industrial areas, but also with pollution emanating from waste water treatment works under the control of municipalities.  

Water quality concerns have received a prominent position in the media especially in Vaal Triangle. VEJA has been pushing that the forums must pay special attention to the involvement of communities in water quality. We want to change the face of this forum so that ordinary citizens are able to participate fully and have a voice in the water governance in South Africa.

VEJA chairperson was nominated to be a deputy chairperson of the Rietspruit. These is the second time in 3 years that VEJA has been appointed in these important task, VEJA Coordinator Samson Mokoena was appointed to chair the same forum in the last 3 years. The Rietspruit forum was initiated in 2001, as a result of water and air quality struggles between what now ArcelorMittal and fence-line communities is protesting against its pollution.

This has showed that VEJA is in the right tract to monitor and make sure that previously disadvantage groups have a strong voice. VEJA is confident that Phenius Malapela will represent the interest of the communities as he comes from the working class and poor community of Sebokeng and he is passionate about speaking on behalf of the poor.