SAHRC preliminary report finds KZN municipalities violated residents’ rights to water

Issued by Councillor Thys Janse van Rensburg – DA uThukela Chairperson
18 Sep 2023 in Press Statements

Today, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) will release its final report and issue a series of recommendations aimed at addressing the systematic failures and violations of human rights by the ANC Government of KwaZulu-Natal.

The preliminary report has revealed that many other municipalities and Water Service Authorities (WSAs) in KZN, have violated residents’ human right to access clean drinking water, as enshrined in the South African Constitution. The pervasive sense of neglect, disregard, and contempt for community suffering and attempts to engage with the municipality have exacerbated these violations.

Key findings from the preliminary report include:

• Profound challenges in accessing water and multiple violations of human rights across the province.

• Disproportionate impact on impoverished communities, vulnerable households, and local economic development.

• Stark disparities between rural and urban communities in accessing basic services, violating rights to equality and dignity.

• Poor planning, mismanagement of resources, and inadequate maintenance of infrastructure by municipalities and WSAs.

• Failure to transform apartheid-era spatial planning to benefit previously excluded communities.

• Lack of commitment from WSAs in delivering bulk water services and unrealistic tariffs.

All KZN spheres of government and other stakeholders are expected to act upon these recommendations to improve water service delivery, protect human rights, and address the systemic failures that have affected the community’s access to clean drinking water.

Since 2020, the DA in uThukela has been lodging complaints with the SAHRC regarding the ongoing lack of basic water service delivery that started under the previous ANC run district and local municipalities.

Even today, thousands of residents in Loskop, within the Inkosi Langalibalele Municipality, continue to endure significant disruptions as they protest the lack of water.

Once again, this is a stark finding that highlights how the ANC-run KZN Government has failed South Africans. The reality is that it is the poor who bear the worst brunt of government failures in KZN. South Africans have an opportunity in 2024 to vote for services, jobs, and prosperity. What all South Africans need is a capable government like the Western Cape and uMngeni here in KZN—a DA Government that provides services, attracts jobs, and promotes growth for its residents.

The DA in KwaZulu-Natal and in uThukela will closely monitor how the recommendations and findings of the report are implemented.