Hope for water supply in Mpumalanga
Johannesburg - Residents of Mpumalanga's Emalahleni local municipality will soon have running water from their taps, the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said on Thursday.
The municipality had appointed Rand Water to refurbish the area's crumbling water supply infrastructure, which was unable to meet the demand of the growing community.
SAHRC spokesperson Vincent Moaga said the Democratic Alliance lodged a complaint about the water crisis, supported by 4 000 signatures, with the commission last year.
Residents complained that water quality was poor and the service unreliable.
Emalahleni is in the western region of Mpumalanga bordering Gauteng.
The SAHRC launched an investigation, which was still underway. It requested that the municipality provide it with information before Christmas.
"The municipality failed to do so," said Moaga.
It then issued a new deadline for January 24 with a warning.
"The commission indicated that it planned to subpoena the entire top management of the municipality to appear before it if the report was still not submitted," said Moaga.
This week, the report was submitted and the municipality acknowledged water and electricity supply problems, especially in Phola, Ogies and Duvha.
Besides ageing infrastructure it blamed the fast-growing community and the theft of copper cables for its inability to deliver a consistent service.
Moaga said the water affairs department and provincial co-operative governance department intervened and were helping supply potable water to the area.
"The commission wishes to commend the Emalahleni municipality and the various departments on their collaborative efforts. We hope that they and other municipalities shall continue to serve their communities and uphold the values enshrined in our Constitution," Moaga said.