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SAHRC is still continuing with its investigation of a complaint relating to poor water quality and service delivery in the eMalahleni Municipal area in Mpumalanga.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

The South African Human Rights Commission is still continuing with its investigation of a complaint relating to poor water quality and service delivery in the eMalahleni Municipal area in Mpumalanga.

This complaint was lodged by the Democratic Alliance and was supported by 4000 signatures. After receipt of this complaint, the Commission proceeded to write to the eMalahleni Municipality to request it to provide it with information relating to this matter before the Christmas break. However, the Municipality failed to do so.

Subsequent to this, the Commission issued a new deadline for 24 January 2012. This deadline was accompanied by a warning which indicated that the Commission planned to subpoena the entire top management of the Municipality to appear before it if the report was still not submitted.

The Municipality has since complied and submitted the report on Tuesday, 24 January 2012. In its report the Municipality acknowledges that indeed there are interruptions in the water and electricity supply particularly in the Phola, Ogies and Duvha residential areas. It cites an old water network infrastructure which it says consists of asbestos pipes and old valves that have not been replaced for about thirty years, as the main cause of poor water delivery and quality.

Furthermore, it argues that the fast growing community affects the demand for water supply which in turn affects electricity supply which is required for the supply of water. The Municipality further cites theft of copper cables as another hindrance to its ability to deliver a constant supply of clean water.

However, the Municipality has stated that the Department of Water Affairs, the Mpumalanga Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs have since intervened in this matter and are assisting by supplying potable water to the communities. It also indicated that “Rand Water has been appointed to oversee the reinstatement of water supply and is currently on site busy with the refurbishment of the plant and reservoirs.”

The Commission wishes to commend the eMalahleni Municipality and the various departments on their collaborative efforts, in an attempt to remedy the interruptions in the water and electricity supply. We hope that they and other Municipalities shall continue to serve their communities and uphold the values enshrined in our Constitution.

ENDS

For further enquiries: Vincent Moaga 073 562 9866
For comments email info@sahrc.org.za [Back]



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