lodge complaint button
commissioners button
programmes button
provinces button
publications button
calendar button
fraud hotline button

SAHRC finds municipalities in North West violated residents' rights

25 April 2025

The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has found that Tswaing and Ngaka Modiri Molema municipalities in North West have violated the rights of residents by denying them access to water and sanitation, which stripped them of their dignity.  

The commission issued its final investigative report on Tuesday after it had received consolidated complaints in September and October 2021 regarding the sewer spillages and a lack of basic municipal services, including water, sanitation and electricity at Agisanang, Jachtkraal Farm, Delareyville and Letsopa.

The commission said in a statement: Following an investigation of these complaints, the commission found that the rights of the residents of Agisanang, Jachtkraal Farm, Delareyville and Letsopa 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.

The matter was launched by Tumelo Phinda, Carin Visser and Floggies Lucas on behalf of the residents of those areas.  

Phinda is a Batho Pele administrator, a political initiative which means "people first", in the Ngaka Modiri Molema District. She lodged the complaint on behalf of the residents of Agisanang in Sannieshof and Letsopa in Ottosdal.

Visser is a DA MP who also serves in the National Council of Provinces and Lucas is a resident in Jachtkraal. Lucas lodged the complaint in his personal capacity as a resident.

The commission also made several directives that the local municipalities must comply with the directives which include the installation of 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 at a minimum flow rate of not less than 10 litres per minute; within 200m of each of the residents’ households.  

In addition to that, the report states:
The municipalities must provide the residents of these areas with toilets which are safe, reliable, environmentally sound, easy to keep clean, provide privacy and protection against weather, are well ventilated, keep smells to the minimum and prevent the entry and exit of flies and other disease-carrying pests.

The municipalities were also directed to consult with the cooperative governance and traditional affairs and water and sanitation departments to conduct a comprehensive assessment report of the water and sanitation infrastructure in these areas. These assessments would then reflect the cost implications of rectifying the challenges identified.

The municipalities were also ordered to engage actively and meaningfully with the residents on their 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 local and district municipalities must, within two months of the completion of the assessment, submit a report to the commission, under oath, detailing the steps that they will take in the short, medium and long term to:

    Address the inadequacies of the waste management system, and the sewer network or infrastructure servicing the affected areas; with specific detail in respect to the planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation, and oversight and accountability measures to be taken.
    Prevent the spillage of raw sewage into the streets and homes; and into rivers.
    Prevent backflows of sewage when residents flush the toilets in their homes.
    Prevent and/or mitigate the impact of sewage spillages on both the residents and the environment.
    Provide security to safeguard its sewer infrastructure.
    Provide adequate financial and other resources required to implement the corrective measures identified in the report.
    Ensure the provision of potable water in a manner that is effective and sustainable, including the provision of interim water supply services.
    Ensure the provision of all municipal services in a manner that is effective and sustainable. Find the full report here

In 2021, City Press reported that information presented during a cooperative governance and traditional affairs portfolio committee meeting in Parliament revealed that the state of North West municipalities was the worst in the country, with 86% of them listed among the 163 categorised as being in financial distress nationally.

Meanwhile, early this year, nine municipalities in North West were reported to have lost various conditional grants allocated to municipalities for the 2022/23 financial year, due to a lack of spending.

Source: News24

About us

Understanding PAIA

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.

27 Stiemens Street, Braamfontein

011 877 3600 (Switchboard)