DA Northern Cape Leader
082 383 6914
The Democratic Alliance considers the ongoing water crisis in Kimberley, whereby sick people, old people, mothers with babies, people that cannot afford to buy drinking water, businessmen, school children and ordinary citizens are suffering,
untenable and will lodge a complaint with the South Africa Human Rights Commission to this effect.
Preventative action by means of infrastructure maintenance and risk management, could have prevented what has now become a full blown water emergency. Furthermore, all municipal resources are now focused on putting out fires instead of placing emphasis on proactive measures to prevent a repeat of such a catastrophe in the future.
In the meantime, people are suffering. Access to water is severely limited, even more so for those who cannot afford to buy drinking water. Furthermore, sanitation is directly affected and people’s health and safety is being compromised.
We all have a right to a basic water supply. No one must be denied this right, even if he or she cannot afford to pay for it. Since 1994, our government has had the enormous task of ensuring that everyone has access to basic services. The eradication of poverty, including the equal access to basic services, such as access to water, is one of the highest priorities of government. However, in lieu of recent developments pertaining to Kimberley’s water supply, it appears that the current administration is failing in this huge task.
The DA is of the view that the water crisis, due to municipal incompetence and not an act of God, ultimately culminates in a human rights violation. We will request the SAHRC to investigate whether human rights have in fact been breached as a result of Sol Plaatje’s failure to ensure that basic services are provided.
The DA has commissioned our councillors to play an active role by closely monitoring Kimberley’s water levels and related developments. In this regard, our councillors have been doing site visits and alerting as many people as possible to what the status quo is regarding the water situation. Once the current situation has been resolved, our councilors will continue to play a similar oversight role in an effort preempt and minimize the impact of similar disasters in future.