DA calls Human Rights Commission as KZN faces water crisis

08 November 2019 - 06:00 By Nomahlubi Jordaan
The DA in KZN has asked the Human Rights Commission to intervene in the province's water crisis.
The DA in KZN has asked the Human Rights Commission to intervene in the province's water crisis.
Image: 123RF/Weerapat Kiatdumrong

The DA has called for the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to intervene in the plight of KwaZulu-Natal residents who face a water crisis.

A letter penned by the party's KZN co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) spokesperson, Mbali Ntuli, on Thursday raises the issue of non-delivery of water to residents in the province — and accuses the government of failure to address the crisis.

“The DA is of the view that ... Cogta has failed the residents of KZN by not adequately addressing the crisis, and thereby denying the affected citizens of their constitutional rights,” Ntuli said.

Ntuli said while issues of service delivery were “complex” and hampered by drought, many of the problems the province faced also lay with the municipalities' failure to ensure delivery of water services to residents. This, she said, was “through lack of maintenance, non-provision of water tankers, lack of planning, poor management and a disregard for adequate basic services provision”.

“KZN's water issues are not new, yet there has been no urgency on the part of the department when it comes to remedying the situation. That it is now scrambling to find solutions is an indictment against its so-called leadership, particularly when it has access to long-term forecasts in respect of weather patterns,” said Ntuli.

She said the provincial government's plea to the residents to pray for rain was “ridiculous”.

“The DA has repeatedly warned about this looming disaster, through both provincial and local council channels. In 2016 we issued a statement calling on then Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube to intervene,” Ntuli added.

She urged the SAHRC to intervene in the matter “urgently”.

In the past week, water and sanitation minister Lindiwe Sisulu told journalists that the country was facing water scarcity accompanied by high temperatures. While she said there was no need to panic, Sisulu urged residents to be “prudent” and use water sparingly.

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