F State municipalities 'violate rights'

2013-07-10 19:12
SAHRC (Picture: Sapa)

SAHRC (Picture: Sapa)

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Bloemfontein - Four Free State municipalities have violated the human rights of citizens in not providing water and sanitation, the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said on Wednesday.

"It shows that apartheid’s redress was not done as it could have been, with proper co-operative governance," commission deputy chairperson Pregs Govender said.

The commission earlier released reports of investigations conducted into five complaints about water and sanitation at four Free State municipalities.

The five reports cover the municipalities of Dihlabeng (Bethlehem), Setsotso (Ficksburg), Masilonyana (Brandfort), and the Mangaung Metro (Bloemfontein). There were two reports on the Masilonyana muncipality.

Govender said the complaints focused on access to clean water, sanitation, a clean environment, access to information, and dignity.

Most of the findings indicated that municipalities had no meaningful consultations with affected residents.

The commission said the reports should be seen in the context of existing discussions with national government on implementing earlier recommendations made after the SAHRC’s provincial hearings.

SAHRC Free State manager Buang Jones said the Mangaung complaint was from people living near Sibuyile Park.

"[The] Mangaung metropolitan municipality failed in its constitutional and statutory obligations to, among others, provide basic services such as sufficient water, sanitation and refuse removal since 1989."

Similar findings

The Dihlabeng municipality failed to adequately conceptualise, plan and implement the Maseko section informal settlement at Paul Roux.

Govender said the findings were similar to findings at other municipalities across South Africa.

In Mpumalanga and Limpopo, the commission was looking into 11 complaints in each province about a lack of access to water and sanitation in various districts.

In the Western Cape, an investigation was recently launched in informal settlements in Gugulethu.

The commission said it would ensure that recommendations were implemented.

"We prefer not to have to take a municipality, department or government to court," said Govender.

She said they would if it became necessary.

Read more on:    sahrc  |  bloemfontein  |  service delivery

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