Africa-Press – South-Africa. 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.
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 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.
Despite numerous attempts, News24 could not get a response from Rand Water spokesperson Makenosi Maroo.