Cosatu threatens protest over water crisis

2011-05-19 23:48
Cape Town - Cosatu warned on Thursday that it would mobilise its members for protest action if the government did not address the looming water crisis soon.

Spokesperson Patrick Craven said the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) had joined other organisations in the campaign to highlight the water crisis.

Cosatu had submitted a notice setting out the problems and challenges and demanding urgent measures to resolve the crisis, he said, noting that the Federation of Unions of SA had also filed a Section 77 notice on water.

"Should there be no progress in addressing the challenges raised in this application, Cosatu will have no option but to mobilise its members for a protest which will take the form of marches, demonstrations, pickets and stayaways," said Craven.

Section 77 of the Labour Relations Act gives workers the right to take part in protest action to promote or defend their socio-economic interests.

In terms of the Labour Relations Act, the National Economic Development and Labour Council must bring the parties to a section 77 notice together, to attempt to resolve the reasons for the contemplated protest action.

Craven said that while the number of people with access to water had increased since 1994, the quality of water available to South Africans was not acceptable.

An increasing number of water service users had serious complaints about the quality.

While in 76% of water users were satisfied with the quality in 2005 and 72% in 2007, only 58.8% were satisfied in 2009.

People complained that the water they received was "not clean, clear, good in taste or free from bad smells.

"These complaints represent the microcosm of the water challenges the country is facing: pollution, poor quality and scarcity," said Craven.

Among other things, there was poor sanitation and water service delivery, eutrophication (excessive nutrients) in dams and rivers, failing waste water treatment infrastructure and acid mine drainage.

Craven said an enhanced exploration of ground water, which should not only be relied upon during droughts, was one of the measures that could be adopted to address the water challenge.

Other measures included desalination, rainwater harvesting, conservation and water reuse.

Cosatu had called for policies that included punitive incentives against those who waste and pollute water, especially large water users.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  patrick craven  |  cape town  |  weather

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Meet instagram star, Pumpkin the racoon

With 300 000 followers and growing Pumpkin is winning over the internet!



The cats that cost R35 000
Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy
13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Plant some seeds. Your innovative mind is on fire and your ingenious ideas may just be the seeds for future projects. You may more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.