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Emfuleni washing away our human rights

The high levels of raw sewage flowing directly into the Vaal because of mismanagement by the Emfuleni local authorities infringes on our health and our right to clean water.

The rot within the Emfuleni local municipality has resulted in raw sewage flowing into the Vaal dam. This has serious health risks and directly infringes on the rights of residents exposed to the polluted water.

“The municipality, CoGTA, and the Minister of Water and Sanitation are all responsible for the collapse of the water systems that were engineered to provide citizens with clean drinkable water,” said OUTA’s executive director, Makhosi Khoza.

In 2017 OUTA alerted the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to the threat that exists should municipalities fail to treat sewage adequetely. Read OUTA’s submission here.

The SAHRC referred OUTA’s complaint to the Public Protector’s office who are toying with the idea of investigating this matter jointly with the Human Rights Commission.

While it is encouraging to hear that the SAHRC visited the Vaal dam this week, we urge them to act more decisively on this matter as the health of residents depends on clean drinking water.

OUTA continues to put pressure on the Public Protector and the Human Rights Commission to act swiftly in the interest of residents.

In addition, the Department of Water and Sanitation has failed to make public the water quality reports for the past 3 years leaving citizens uncertain of the quality of the water they are drinking.

OUTA has since conducted its own water quality tests at nine major water sources which provide the bulk of Gauteng’s water supply to give residents a clear indication of the quality of water they are drinking. For information about OUTA’s water testing project and to support this project visit www.outa.co.za

OUTA is a proudly South African civil action organisation, that is purely crowd funded. Our work is supported by ordinary citizens who are passionate about holding government accountable and ensuring our taxes are used to the benefit of all South Africans.

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