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CeBER Seminar 2016 #3: Dr Cheri Young

Dr Cheri Young
Dr Cheri Young

CeBER Seminar 2016 #3

Date: 26th February

Guest Speaker: Dr Cheri Young

Dr Cheri Young from the UCT Law Faculty gave a provocative talk on the governance and management of water in South Africa, highlighting the seriousness of our current water crisis and the shortfalls of current management strategies and infrastructure.  The water shortages currently being experienced in South Africa are the most severe since 1982 and, in addition to climate, are partly due to bad planning and poor management.  Dr Young indicated that the state of water management in South Africa is such that, if current development trends continue, there will be a 2.7 billion cubic meter water deficit by 2030.  With these troubling statics in mind, Dr Young reminded us that access to sufficient water is a constitutional right in South Africa.  However, there are legal limitations in the clauses that hinder the realisation of this right.  Major problems facing this country include the lack of or inefficient infrastructure, financial deficit and a severe shortage of human resources to properly manage water.  Dr Young stressed the need for scientists and engineers to address the problems of water pollution mitigation, since a large portion of South African water is polluted.