SA poorly equipped to manage looming food, water shortages

South Africa is ill-equipped to deal with the existing food and water shortage crisis facing the country, according to Prof Louis Kotzé, environmental law expert at the Faculty of Law, on the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University.

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This was despite the fact that SA has, in theory, one of the best legal frameworks in the world to regulate actions from the private sector and the government to manage and prevent issues that negatively impacted on the environment.

“Environmental change is low on the local political agenda. We see fuel prices rising because food prices are rising. Climate change causes crops to fail which causes prices to hike. We also have to cope with water restrictions,” said Kotzé.

He cautioned that the situation would only get worse. It was worry, said Kotzé, that SA has not managed to intervene by putting legislative protocols in place to enforce the implementation of the necessary mitigation and adaptation measures to deal with environmental challenges due to climate change.

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But the problem was not limited to SA. Many governments worldwide were poorly equipped to navigate ever increasing climate change challenges.

“This is one of the topics that will be discussed during the New Frontiers in Global Environmental Constitutionalism symposium that will be held from 12 to 14 April 2016 at the Potchefstroom Campus,” said Kotzé.