THIRSTY: People queue to collect natural spring water from the Brewery spring in Newlands. But inconsiderate people behaving badly are impacting on residents living nearby. Picture: Athina May.
We have an expression - my four closest colleagues and I: “More judo - less karate.”

Martial arts experts will raise an eyebrow at this simplistic explanation, but here it is:

The key strength in judo is not one’s own ability alone, but harnessing the opponent’s energy. To harness all available energy.

This is the foundational principle behind “latent resources” that this column has drummed on about.

On May 13, 2016 on this page, these words: The planner Rory Williams, in the Cape Times on February 15, 2016, wrote about “parklets” - mini-urban parks: “If enough people in different parts of the city began to see the benefits of transforming small places into very public spaces for gathering then both the people and their ward councillors might begin to see these as an essential service. They could - with the 'light touch' of reduced bureaucracy - be a very easy way for communities to reclaim parts of the city in highly customised ways, suited to their particular needs.

“If local people are involved in change, they can guide it If citizens create parklets for themselves, then the city’s role in service delivery is not providing the parklet itself, but an easy process that citizens can follow to get them built,” Williams argued.

And here’s the killer point: “Government’s ‘basic service’ is, then, the enabling process, not the product.”

Until recently, the term “public transport” referred only to buses, minibuses and trains.

Until Uber - “unlocking” a latent resource: the millions of private cars on the same roads, every day. From this, we learnt that mining latent resources is the new frontier, as this column has argued before.

So let’s remind ourselves of the task at hand: to survive the drought crisis (literally). To protect our most vulnerable, as our highest priority. To protect our economy. And education, if at all possible.

To achieve these, the first piece of paper on the table is a map of our resources - ours, everyone’s, manifest, latent.

Both dam water and privately stored rain and borehole water. Purification systems for both public and private use. Both municipal infrastructure and commerce’s vehicle fleets.

And who’s on the “A-Team”, to make all this possible, together? “The right people in the room”?

United leadership. United technical leadership. The government’s best. And the private sector’s - in management, logistics, retail, finance, digital communications, security, transport.

And mobilised civil society leadership.

One clear voice. To avoid, or survive, Day Zero.

Together, to unlock and enable every conceivable resource on our shared map. From macro to micro.

More judo, less karate.

* Williams’ “Shooting from the Lip” column appears in the Cape Argus every Monday.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.

Cape Argus