Community Safety

A Change Of Mindset About Water Is Needed


“The abundance of rain and the full dams that are currently being experienced in our region have not changed the status quo – South Africa is a water-scarce country. We must all do the right thing and make saving water a lifestyle in and out of our homes!” is a solemn call from Water and Sanitation Head of Department Mduduzi Shabangu.

A change of mindset about water is the only thing that will gradually bring about the desired changes regarding water.

Practise makes perfect and indeed practising saving water will gradually bring about changes regarding water safety and, inevitably, food safety in South Africa. The two are linked and if there is no water it will be impossible to grow crops for food.

It is only human beings who can make a positive change in mindset about saving water for everyone to benefit.

So, by now, almost everyone has received information about the status of water in our country but what does that mean really? What is the difference between information and knowledge? At what point do we learn to do what we have learnt about water?

Information and knowledge – is there a difference?

“Information is nothing but the refined form of data, which is helpful to understand the meaning. On the other hand, knowledge is the relevant and objective information that helps in drawing conclusions.” This is according to S Surbhi, a World Bank Social Development specialist with substantial experience in urban and rural development.

So how do we translate information and knowledge to our water situation?

Information: Water and sanitation departments in all spheres of the South African government give out information such as –

  • South Africa is a water scarce country.
  • Water is life.
  • Without water there is no life.
  • Respect water.
  • Preserve water.
  • Recycle water.

The list goes on and the government, including this City, repeatedly communicate these messages year in year out through community engagements, leaflets, social media platforms, television messages, radio messages and so on.

Knowledge: The City encourages everyone to put the acquired information into personal actions such as –

  • I must save water for generations to come.
  • I must recycle or reuse water –
    • from my kitchen after washing fruit and vegetables or left over water from drinking
    • from my bathroom from rinsing washing, etc
  • I must harvest rainwater as I can use it in everything in my home from washing cars and clothing, watering plants etc except for cooking.
  • I must teach everyone in my home about saving water.
  • Saving water must be a lifestyle in my family.

Every person needs to make a conscious decision to do what is right – to save water at home and at their workplace or business.