Well thank you very much, hon member. The Northern Cape's situation is been very painful, where a farmer decided to commit suicide. He could not really take it to see his livestock dying. Finally he decided to commit suicide. Well, it is a painful experience, but one thing, early warning system yes, but an early warning system that must be communicated to people.
People must change their actions the way they do things. For instance, here in the Western Cape, we went down to Day Zero and everyday you were given information about the dam levels. We must not do this and we must use water like this and so on. People continued as if nothing has changed. Until the last day when it was said that there is no water now.
Human behaviour is very important. We can blame who ever, but if they tell you to say no, no, watch and let us look after our dams, let us look at our resources and use water sparingly. Do so.
However, we have come to a point where as South Africans we ignore these early warning systems. Well, in the Northern Cape, it is a
different situation. When I was there the farmers told me that they are in that situation for seven to eight years on the consistent drought, but I am saying there as government we could have done better because there are areas along the Orange River where we can plant a lot of fodder and try and supply farmers which currently that is what we did to say this land belongs to government and that land belongs to government we gave that land to the province to plant fodder so that they can feed animals.
I mean we could have reacted better at that time. Now our intervention was not really up to scratch. I am hoping to still work with the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development and with the province to find the way of relocating some of the farmers because there is absolutely nothing that they can do with their land. It is just dry. Probably offer them alternative land where they can relocate their livestock. I mean we need to do some plans to make the farmers there to survive so that there could be food. However, the bottom line is that people must take care and take early warning systems very important.
We are being told now that this warm climate is going to have devastating effects on our agriculture, animals and everything. We must take care and we must use water sparingly. This is the message
now. We must not wait until we are experiencing a problem. South Africans must learn to take early warning systems serious and prepare themselves.
I am happy that certain governments like in KwaZulu-Natal, the province has prepared itself, but it can only do so much. They can only have so many tents and so many beds that they can help people, but they cannot help the entire province. People must be able to take early warning messages serious.
As government we are going to confront the drought, but we can only do so working with our people. We are going to use underground water and we are going to use it sparingly. Let us look after our dams and our resources very careful. We abuse them, we will suffer. Thank you very much. [Applause.]