Over the past several years, there are numerous indications that the management and quality of both water and sewerage are not being maintained at the levels expected and required in the best interests of the people of South Africa. Water Quality reports have not been made public since 2014. It is for this reason that OUTA has focussed on holding governing authorities to account on such water issues, predominantly at a national and ministerial level.
WHY IS OUTA CHALLENGE IT?
Water is life, sanitation is dignity and both impact on health security. It is therefore in everyone’s interest, to know what is being done to maintain infrastructure and avoid leaks; and to ensure that our drinking water is healthy and up to standard.
55 million South Africans depend on having access to clean water. OUTA is assessing legal avenues that will ensure the current Minister regularly informs SA citizens on the quality of their drinking water.
The Department of Water and Sanitation is the custodian of our water and its regulator. They are the accounting authority for water information transparency, and for compliance and enforcement of the law in this regard. By not monitoring water quality and without publishing regular water quality and management reports, they are guilty of an abuse of authority. The Department is funded by tax – i.e. public money. As part of OUTA’s commitment to hold governing authorities accountable on important public interest matters, it has set its sights on water issues.
WHAT IS OUTA DOING ABOUT THIS/OUTA’S SOLUTION?
- OUTA is applying pressure on the Ministry to show the public how it has been monitoring water quality by publishing the reports
- OUTA is also considering the legal avenues at its disposal.