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An Interview with South Africa’s Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs: “Water Knows No Boundaries”

I interviewed Her Excellency Ms. Edna Molewa, the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs of the Republic of South Africa, at the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille. South Africa is unique — as a nation as it has a higher financial water budget than defense budget. This is a remarkable achievement for any nation irrespective of its economic status. Thanks to this investment in and prioritization of water, South Africa has made tremendous progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). It has met its goals for water but it lags on its sanitation targets and service deliveries. In this interview, Ms. Molewa and I discussed the challenges to achieving the sanitation MDG target, possible fudging of numbers by some countries in their MDG reporting, South Africa’s stance on climate change and its position on Sustainable Development Goals.