The Cape Town Water Crisis, White Man-made Climate Change, and the Road to Sharpeville
Euri Vidal from Surefoot was a student at the University of Cape Town in 2006 and wrote the article ‘The Cape Town Water Crisis, White Man-Made Climate Change, and the Road to Sharpeville’.
The article focuses on climate justice by arguing that white people in the Global North are primarily responsible for climate change and people of colour in the Global South will be the most affected. In this case, it is the poor South Africans of Cape Town, predominantly black people, who are currently suffering the consequences of the Cape Town water crisis more disproportionally.
The article examines the danger of ‘Day Zero’ happening in Cape Town when the city taps will be closed, and all 4 million inhabitants will have to queue in one of 200 designated points to collect water. The article emphasises the potential of creating the conditions for an event similar to the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre of apartheid’s South Africa. Paradoxically, the article also speaks of Sharpeville where Nelson Mandela symbolically signed the South African Constitution in 1996 as a road toward transformation that went from tragedy to justice and uses this transformation as a metaphor to convey the phasing out the use of fossil fuels, which, of course, are central to increasing climate change impacts.
Download the full paper here: The Cape Town Water Crisis, White Man-made Climate Change, and the Road to Sharpeville.