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Media Statement: The SAHRC’s Final Investigative Report in the matter of Senna on behalf of the Residents of Palamakuwa, Extension 5 Lehurutse Zeerust // Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality And Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality

Attention: Editors and Reporters
16 November 2022

The South African Human Rights Commission (the SAHRC or Commission) has issued a final investigative report in the matter of Senna on behalf of the Residents of Palamakuwa, Extension 5 Lehurutse Zeerust // Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality and Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality. The report relates to the complaint received on 9 June 2020 regarding the lack of basic municipal services such as water, sanitation, electricity and roads in Palamakuwa outside Zeerust. It was further alleged that there had been no human settlement development in Palamakuwa since 2010.

Following an investigation of the complaint, the Commission found that the rights of the residents of Palamakuwa were violated by the Local and District Municipalities. The specific rights violated included the residents’ right of access to water and sanitation as well as their right to dignity.

Consequent to the above findings, the Commission made several directives that the Local and District Municipalities must comply with. The directives made include the following:
•    The Local and District Municipalities must install a sufficient number of water user connections to supply a minimum quantity of potable water of 25 litres per person per day or 6 kilolitres per household per month to the residents of Palamakuwa; at a minimum flow rate of not less than 10 litres per minute; within 200 metres of each of the residents’ households; and ensure that the residents are not without a water supply for more than seven full days in any year.

•    The Local and District Municipalities must provide the residents of Palamakuwa with toilets which are safe, reliable, environmentally sound, and easy to keep clean, provides privacy and protection against weather, well ventilated, keeps smells to the minimum and prevents the entry and exit of flies and other disease-carrying pests.

•    The Local and District Municipalities must, within one month of the report, submit a report to the Commission setting out a time-bound plan on steps they have taken since the issuing of the report, and steps they envisage taking in the future towards the adoption of a permanent solution to the provision of water, basic sanitation, electricity and housing to the residents of Palamakuwa.

•    In consultation with all relevant stakeholders, including the affected residents, the Local Municipality must, within three months of the report, consider making an application to the MEC for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs: North West Province for funding to upgrade Palamakuwa in terms of the Upgrading of Informal Settlements Programme. The Local Municipality is to thereafter report to the Commission on its decision in this regard, together with proof of consultations with all relevant stakeholders and reason(s) for the decisions.

•    The Local and District Municipalities must engage actively and meaningfully with the residents of Palamakuwa on its short, medium and long-term measures to address the challenges relating to the provision of water, basic sanitation, electricity and housing to the residents.

The full report is available on the Commission’s website at this link: https://www.sahrc.org.za/home/21/files/FINAL%20INVESTIGATIVE%20REPORT%20-%20JOHANNES %20SENNA%20v%20NGAKA%20MODIRI%20MOLEMA%20-%209%20November%202022.pdf

The Commission will be monitoring compliance with the report on an ongoing basis.

For further information or enquiries, please contact SAHRC North West Provincial Manager, Shirley Mlombo (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 083 575 1893).

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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