By Kaya 959 News
The Economic Freedom Fighters have welcomed the intervention of Cuban engineers who are set to help with South Africa’s water crisis.
This, despite opposition parties and civil groups believing it is a waste of money when SA has many retired experts at its disposal.
The EFF’s Vuyani Pambo said the fact that Cuba’s role will primarily be the transfer of skills, reveals that their purpose is not that of milking SA dry but that of developing our nation to be a credible global competitor that is able to provide critical services to the people.
Pambo said the engineers will assist in the water crisis and will help alleviate critical water infrastructure problems that have resulted in millions of South Africans living in undignified conditions.
“Our nation is one that suffers from poor water infrastructure, failure to deliver water to people and lack of technical capacity to develop sophisticated water systems.
“The Cuban engineers come in to bolster SA’s efforts of building internal capacity in areas of expertise in local engineers, as opposed to the foolish agenda of privatising water supply and infrastructure development,” Pambo said.
Comprehensive cooperation with Cuba
He said the engineers will assist with their expertise in research and security of hydraulic infrastructure, while also providing expertise on the versatile use of groundwater, sea water and surface water resources.
Pambo added that the EFF has long called for comprehensive cooperation with Cuba on a variety of key development areas in healthcare, the building of pharmaceutical capacity, the economy and education.
He added that Cuba remains a leading humanitarian benchmark on development that is anchored on socialism and internationalist cooperation that does not waiver under parasitic imperial pressure.
Calls to embrace Cuban engineers
Last week, Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu called on South Africans to embrace Cuban Engineers who are seconded in the country to assist government’s efforts on water delivery and related services.
The engineers are in the country for three years and would assist in the area of infrastructure maintenance and operation skills throughout the water value chain from source to tap, with the majority being seconded at water/river clusters and at municipalities to provide training.
They will also assist with building capacity to RSA candidate engineers and artisans in all the identified municipalities, and as such address water scarcity and infrastructure challenges in various provinces.
“We have over two decades or long-standing government to government relations with Cuba and these Engineers have come to South Africa to partner with us in our efforts to ensure that we improve the delivery of water and related services to the majority of our people,” Sisulu said.
“The engineers will be getting a stipend on a monthly basis. The budget that has been set aside will also cover accommodation, and goods and services.
“I want to refute claims that these engineers are in the country to take jobs which could be offered to South Africans, that is not the case at all,” she added.
Minister Sisulu also implored some of the South African professionals in the water sector to engage with the sector on an ongoing basis.