Commission shifts focus to service-delivery issues

24 February 2015 - 02:17 By Kingdom Mabuza

The South African Human Rights Commission yesterday summoned provincial and local government departments to account in order to unravel service-delivery problems.

"Since 2004, South Africa has experienced a wave of service protests in townships and informal settlements, which have significantly increased and have become more violent.

"According to research conducted by a variety of institutions, the top grievances raised during protests have been about water and sanitation, housing, electricity, basic service delivery in general and inadequate responsiveness from and accountability of local governments," said the commission's spokesman Isaac Mangena.

Representatives of the City of Cape Town who appeared before the commission yesterday were berated for not submitting their presentation earlier for commissioners to go through.

The KwaZulu-Natal delegation apologised for housing MEC Ravigasen Pillay's absence.

Mangena said the three-day hearing would investigate local government's role in the delivery of services.

The department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, in its submission to the commission, said progress had been made in major metros like Johannesburg, Ekhuruleni, Tshwane and Cape Town for the transfer of housing provision.

The budgets of municipalities have also been expanded and their organisational structures redesigned to accommodate the provision of houses.