DA lodges complaint with SA Human Rights Commission over Gauteng water crisis

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Solly Msimanga.
Solly Msimanga.
Gallo/ Rapport / Lisa Hnatowicz
  • The DA in Gauteng on Monday laid a complaint against Rand Water and the Gauteng government with the SA Human Rights Commission over the water crisis facing the province. 
  • The DA said that access to water was a fundamental human right currently being infringed upon in Gauteng. 
  • The party said it had written to the Presidency, the province, and other interested parties without success. 

The DA's Gauteng leader Solly Msimanga lodged a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on Monday over the water crisis in the province.

"Access to water is a basic human right, and this right is currently being infringed on by Rand Water, which is throttling supply to various reservoirs and pumping stations in Gauteng," Msimanga said.

The DA is challenging claims by Rand Water that mitigating factors have necessitated the water rationing.

The party has blamed the water authority for failing to maintain its infrastructure.  

"Many Gauteng residents have not had proper access to water on a daily basis since load shedding was implemented a month ago," said Msimanga as he filed a complaint against Rand Water and the Gauteng government.

READ | Joburg water issues are because Rand Water has broken infrastructure, not consumption - Michael Sun

He added that for a family in Coronationville, this basic human right to access water turned into a tragedy when their 13-year-old son, Ethan Sass, was knocked down by a car while collecting water. 

Msimanga also added that while Rand Water had called for residents to use water sparingly, during oversight inspections of the pumping station and water reservoir in Eikenhof, the party "discovered that there is a water leak right outside their premises".

He said: 

Furthermore, Rand Water's licence to purify and supply water has not been upgraded. This is despite Gauteng's population growing at a very high rate. This clearly shows that they are not planning to improve access to water as a human right.

He added that access to this right for people who have water "should not become dangerous [as in the case of Ethan Sass], and our residents pay for a service that they expect to be delivered without interruption".

Last week, Rand Water CEO Sipho Mosai blamed the ongoing water shortage in Gauteng on several factors, including climate change, load shedding, and wasteful consumption by residents. 

In an attempt to remedy the situation, Msimanga said his party had written to "President Cyril Ramaphosa, Minister of Water and Sanitation Senzo Mchunu, the Premier of Gauteng Panyaza Lesufi and the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Mzi Khumalo, proposing that an intergovernmental task team be established to look into the electricity and water crisis in Gauteng".

Howeveer, they had only received an acknowledgement of receipt without any follow-up communication.

A representative from the SAHRC received the DA's letter on Monday. Msimanga said the party would monitor the investigation's progress closely. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Voting Booth
Who do you think should lead the Democratic Alliance after the party’s upcoming national congress in April?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
John Steenhuisen for sure, he’s got the experience
63% - 1746 votes
Mpho Phalatse, the DA needs a fresh outlook
37% - 1040 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.