Slide background
Slide background

Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

Media statement: SAHRC succeeds in legal action on provision of water to the Community of Klipgat C

Attention: Editors and Reporters
Thursday, 11 May 2017

The South African Human Rights Commission welcomes the judgment by the North Gauteng High Court compelling the Madibeng Municipality, MEC for Local Government & Human Settlement, and Minister of Water and Sanitation & Minister of Health, to provide adequate water to the Community of Klipgat C. The Commission brought the matter to Court following a complaint received by the Commission having been filed on behalf of the residents of Klipgat C, against the Madibeng Local Municipality (Municipality), alleging that the water provided to residents in the area was inadequate and that residents had been without water supply for a period of five weeks at the time the complaint was lodged.  In its December 2013 report, the Commission had recommended that action be taken to correct the water shortages in Klipgat C, following which the Municipality failed to comply with the Commission’s recommendation.  After repeated and consistent attempts to engage the Municipality on the matter, which proved fruitless, the Commission instituted legal proceedings in March 2017.

Following receipt of the complaint, the Commission brought the matter to the attention of the Municipality, which undertook to increase the number of water deliveries to Klipgat C to three times a week (in order to meet the required volumes in providing adequate water) and to disinfect the water trucks and tanks on site once a month.  The Municipality was bound by this undertaking, yet failed to provide the necessary water.

The Commission has sought urgent, interim relief from the Court to protect the residents’ right to adequate water, as Part A of the legal action. The Municipality did not oppose the application and the court found in favour of the Commission in Part A.

The Commission’s litigation is on-going in the matter of SAHRC & 19 Others v Madibeng Municipality, MEC for Local Government & Human Settlement, Minister of Water and Sanitation & Minister of Health (NGHC Case No.: 21099/17).  The Commission is seeking further wide-ranging and long-term relief for the Klipgat C community in terms of Section 27 (1) (b) of the Constitution, which provides that; “Everyone has the right to have access to sufficient food and water.”  Part B of the Commission’s legal action seeks to have the Court declare that the Municipality is in breach of its constitutional and statutory obligations with respect to the provision of access to adequate water and on a long time basis.
The Commission will monitor progress on the delivery of water in line with the Gauteng North High Court’s finding and will seek further relief from the Court if the Madibeng Municipality fails to deliver water in accordance with the court order.

Issued by the South African Human Rights Commission.

The South African Human Rights Commission.

Follow the SAHRC

About us

The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

Braampark Forum 3, 33 Hoofd Street, Braamfontein

011 877 3600 (Switchboard)

Sign- up for our monthly Pfanelo newsletter