WE’VE ASKED PARLIAMENT TO WRITE A LAW TO SET UP AN INDEPENDENT WATER REGULATOR
Eskom’s woes and the shortage of electricity supply for South Africa are a worrying challenge, but there is an even darker problem looming. Failing municipal infrastructure, crumbling sewage treatment plants, a lack of leadership and a lack of accountability create the perfect storm that is our national water crisis.
South Africa’s national water crisis remains unsolved and there is no indication that a real solution is near. Municipalities have run up heaps of debt and water infrastructure is collapsing. And no one is being held accountable.
This is why OUTA and Water Shortage South Africa believe we need an Independent Water Regulator, and we have called on Parliament to prioritise its establishment. In a joint letter to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, we have asked the committee to consider our reports and suggestions to formulate the legislative requirements to establish an independent water regulator.
Why an independent regulator?
The Department of Water and Sanitation cannot be both player and referee. We believe that the department has failed in its duty to hold to account transgressors who were responsible for the decay of municipal infrastructure, and failure of water provision and water quality. An independent water regulator would treat criminal conduct without fear or favour. Gross negligence, such as pollution of our scarce resources, should result in serious consequences for polluters, as well as for those government officials under whose watch such negligence takes place.