A Thank You to the Students of Cape Town

Doha Debates
September 24, 2019

To the Cape Town students who attended our live debate in Cape Town, South Africa, thank you. At our debate, we addressed crucial questions about the future of water scarcity and the solutions we need to propose to bring an end to the crisis. Students from the University of Western Cape, Stellenbosch University, Rosendaal Secondary School and the University of Cape Town asked engaging questions that helped to deepen our conversation on the complexities of water scarcity. The students’ insights drove our debate and helped us all to better understand the urgency of the crisis and the actions we can take as individuals.

Student participants asked tough questions ranging from how we fund philanthropic efforts to how to work towards peace internationally. Minisi Themba Komalo from Stellenbosch University asked one of our speakers, Georgie Badiel, about how to address water scarcity as a holistic problem, not one that just affects some members of society. Komalo said, “We understand that there’s a fundamental problem here on the ground which is the water crisis. But this is not just a crisis. This has other elements or needs being justice, inequality and corruption and power.” 

Felicia Maloleke from the University of Western Cape also shared a question with Badiel. She asked, “On the issue of funding, how do you go on deciding who you are going to get money from and are they organizations?” Roderique Gabrielle from the University of Cape Town directed his question about the Israel-Palestine conflict to Yana Abu Taleb, another one of our speakers. He wondered, “One of Doha Debates’ key principles is working across differences, so how do you think we can convince Israelis and Palestinians, for example, to even agree or listen or to meet with one another? What are the pragmatic ways that we can get this done?”

Monique, a student at Rosendaal Secondary School, asked our speaker Obakeng Leseyane a question that garnered the audience’s applause. She questioned: “What do we as young people exactly do to make a change? How do we demand social justice?” Leseyane responded that it is our responsibility as citizens to keep our governments accountable saying, “If we sit back and do absolutely nothing for government, business continues as usual.” These pressing questions from students helped drive our debate on water scarcity and gave light to the complexity of this issue.

“What do we as young people exactly do to make a change? How do we demand social justice?” -Monique, Rosendaal Secondary School

Students across the globe participated in our water scarcity debate by tuning in and tweeting #DearWorld to share their thoughts. A class in Pennsylvania, U.S., even tuned in to learn more about water scarcity!

Students from in and around Cape Town were inspired by the perspectives of our speakers on the issue of global water scarcity and water as a human right. Their engaging and thoughtful questions were an invaluable contribution to our debate. So, to the students of Cape Town we thank you for your meaningful participation which helps guide us closer to ending water scarcity.

The debate continues at @DohaDebates with the hashtag #DearWorld. Mark your calendars for our next debate on the future of capitalism in Doha, Qatar, on October 23.

Watch our live debate on the water crisis: