CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA: Global environmental activist group, WWF, recently teamed up with the national broadcaster to host a discussion on the price of water. Because the Environmental Monitoring Group (EMG), an Untold Stories partner, operates at the coalface of social justice issues relating to accessing and pricing water, the group’s Jessica Wilson responded with this thoughtful piece, published in the weekly national paper, the Mail & Guardian


Water has no price. Deprived of water for long enough, you’d give everything – literally – for a sip, to save your life. For some, ‘everything’ is the wealth of nations; others have nothing material to give.

Government is relooking at water pricing, particularly for the bulk users – industry, agriculture and municipalities. Water is currently too cheap, they argue, and because of this, we use too much and are wasteful. This is quite probably true at a bulk-level, certainly for industrial water users. But as we look at domestic water, things get a little more complex.

KING WILLIAM’S TOWN: Farmers from eight villages in the Ngqushwa municipality will meet with representatives of the provincial Ministry of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, at the launch of the Ward One Farmers’ Association at Eteyni village, 60km south of King William’s Town this Friday, 17 May.

The Ward One Farmers’ Association grew out of the need for greater cooperation amongst smallscale farmers in the Eastern Cape as they grapple with the challenges of accessing markets, dealing with stock theft, and improving their skills in alternative farming methods.

‘Farmers needed a collective space to share experiences, and a common platform to address their concerns to government,’ explains Thabang Ngcozela, with the Environmental Monitoring Group (EMG). EMG has been working with the Ngqushwa community to tackle critical water needs in recent years.

The association represents the needs of farmers across eight wards within the Ngqushwa municipal region. EMG has worked with these farmers to deal with issues of drought and water scarcity, and climate change, as well as help train farmers in permaculture methods. 

‘Now, with the Farmers’ Association, we can start to look closely at issues of market access, creating secondary agricultural industries here in the community, and setting up farmer cooperatives,’ says Ngcozela.

The launch will be attended by representatives of the Minister of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, as well as by municipal representatives and local farmers.


Ward One Farmers’ Association Launch:

When:  9am, Friday, 17 May 2013

                Where: Community Hall, Etyeni Village, Eastern Cape


For more information:

Mr Thabang Ngcozela

Project Manager: Water Justice Programme with the Environmental Monitoring Group (EMG)

Cell: 078 803 4321


Mr Ngxobongwana

Ministry of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform

Cell: 073 836 5163


Mr Lindikhaya Ngwendu

Deputy Secretary: Ward One Farmers’ Association

Cell: 073 697 4502

After years of working with small-scale farmers of the Suid-Bokkeveld, we were challenged to capture and share some of our learnings. The result is the publication "Adaptation with a Human Face" which was launched at a side event at the recent Climate Change COP18 in Doha.

Adaptation with a human face coverNow you can get your copy!!

Contact us to order the full complete full report (not yet downloadable)...


...or simply download the short version (380Kb PDF)

EMG has commissioned exciting research, on fracking and water, and on the water energy nexus.

The first report, entitled 'You can't have your gas and drink your water', by Liane Greeff, looks at fracking (hydraulic fracturing) in the context of South Africa's looming water crisis.

The second report, entitled 'The energy-water nexus: energy demands on water resources', by Brenda Martin and Robert Fischer from Project 90x2030, looks at the water implications of energy production.

They are now available - read them here:

fracking coverwater energy cover