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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

State of Vaal River distasteful, unpalatable despite it being a crucial water source in Gauteng

22 Feb 2021

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has released its final report regarding the inquiry into the sewage problem of the Vaal River.

The report, released on February 17, suggests a distasteful and unpalatable state of the Vaal River – despite this being a crucial water source in Gauteng.

According to the report, the National Treasury advised that about 19 million people depend on the Vaal for water (drinking, domestic and commercial use). This explains the gravity of having the Vaal River in good state.

The inquiry emanated from several media reports of ill-maintained and unrepaired faulty systems at certain sites within the Emfuleni Municipality.

Upon receiving these reports, the SAHRC instigated an inquiry into the alleged problems and conducted thorough enquiries, inspections of various sites and compiled its report.

The report extensively sets out the purpose of the inquiry; the findings and thereafter the commission’s recommendations.

The commission’s findings of several violations to human rights invites a discussion of what legal remedies may be available to the affected persons. It is important to note that notwithstanding the commission’s recommendations, most of which are aimed at ceasing the ongoing violations and guarding against the future recurrence; the affected communities may have well established legal remedies. Our primary purpose herein is to look at the legal recourse available.

Source: IOL

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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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.

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