DA leader says KZN needs to be rescued from water crisis

DA party leader John Steenhuisen, speaking in Durban on Saturday, said that under the ANC, the eThekwini municipality is already on stage 16 water-shedding.

DA party leader John Steenhuisen, speaking in Durban on Saturday, said that under the ANC, the eThekwini Mmunicipality is already on stage 16 water-shedding. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers.

Published Jan 21, 2024

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DA party leader John Steenhuisen says he will lay a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission against eThekwini Municipality for violating people’s constitutional right of access to water.

Embarking on a nationwide campaign “against the spiralling water crisis created by the ANC”, he accused the party in eThekwini of neglecting water infrastructure and denying people the right to water.

“It is the one substance without which no living creature can survive; without clean water, we cannot grow food; without clean water, we cannot wash or stay healthy; without clean water to drink, every single person here will die,” Steenhuisen said.

He said Bester, in KwaMashu, had not had piped water for 14 years.

“It has made life in Bester a living hell, where elderly people are forced to spend their meagre SASSA pensions for people to carry water to their homes.

“Instead of fixing infrastructure, the eThekwini Municipality has handed out tenders for water tankers that often don’t arrive, putting at risk the lives of infants, the elderly and the sick. The use of contaminated water tankers and containers to transport water into the community can cause serious illness or even death,” Steenhuisen said.

He said other parts of the Metro, including Tongaat, Phoenix and Durban North had gone for weeks without water.

“The day the taps run dry across most of this city of over four million people, it will descend into chaos that will eclipse even the horror of the July 2021 looting.

“There are not enough water tankers on earth to provide emergency access when the system finally collapses completely.”

“That is why I can today announce that the DA is filing a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission against the eThekwini Municipality, for its flagrant violations of the Bill of Rights.

“The right to water, to human dignity and to a liveable environment have been shredded in this city.”

The Mercury