Rights violation? SAHRC to investigate 24 day Tongaat water outage

Residents of Tongaat and surrounding areas have been without water for 24 days. That’s as a result of much of the local infrastructure being completely destroyed by last month’s KZN floods. Things have now gotten so bad that the South African Human Rights Commission has decided to launch its own investigation into the ongoings.

Tongaat water outage: SAHRC decides to step in

The commission says its extremely concerned with the impact of the disruption of the water supply on local schools, communities and businesses. It’s particularly dismayed over the ETA that’s been given for the repairs to be completed.

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The repairs are expected to take between six to eight months. While the city claims that an augmented water supply is available, residents protested again this week denying the claims.

Some residents say that since the floods first hit, Tongaat has only seen around three water tankers. As a result, the SAHRC says enough is enough.

“The SAHRC’s KZN Provincial Office has therefore registered an own initiative complaint in terms of section 13 (3) (a) of the SAHRC Act, to investigate the current situation and to assess what interim measures have been implemented to alleviate the plight of all those affected. Section 13 of the SAHRC Act empowers the Commission to investigate any alleged violation of human rights and to secure appropriate redress where necessary.”

SAHRC KZN office

More engagements underway

The SAHRC is now engaging directly with the eThekwini Municipality and community members. The Commission says it will work to ensure that “immediate appropriate intervention” is provided to the local community.

Residents have also complained about not being able to access another water pipe running through the area. City officials say the standpipe water is part of an agreement that caters for several other neighbouring municipalities. It was briefly connected for Tongaat residents before being shut down.

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