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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

Human Rights Commission to look at local municipality

8 October 2021

It lists infringements and evidence of poor basic service delivery, according to local lawyer, Yvette Labuschagne Attorneys and Conveyancers.

“In the South African Constitution it is stated the municipality must perform the following functions: electricity and gas reticulation, municipal planning, stormwater management systems, water and sanitation services limited to portable water supply systems and domestic water waste and sewerage disposal systems, municipal roads, refuse removal, refuse dumps and solid waste removal and fire fighting and emergency services. We found irrefutable proof that these basic services are not provided,” said Labuschagne.
George Viljoen, local resident and member of the Kellysville Community Forum and the Mashishing Civic Coalition, attended the sitting and testified about the infringements he is aware of.

The evidence submitted is also part of a continued investigation by DA councillors, Spiros Couvaras, Gravett Herbst, Comfort Sibiya and DA member of parliament, Sonja Boshoff. It concerned findings with respect to basic service delivery by the Thaba Chweu Local Municipality (TCLM).

The finding and report handed in at the SAHRC state that TCLM residents have been subjected to poor basic service delivery for approximately 15 years. The report includes court application details brought against the provincial and national government to intervene in terms of Section 139 of the Constitution. Viljoen also told the SAHRC that the dire situation in TCLM is a blatant infringement of human rights.

“In October 2020 we, on behalf of the concerned residents, obtained legal advice from municipal law specialist, Adv Allen Liversage. He advised us to compile professional reports on the state of the current municipal infrastructure and non-compliance with applicable legislation by TCLM,” said Labuschagne.

Labuschagne said they are at a critical stage of the investigation and more information will be released in due course. She wrote the following letter to the residents and business owners of TCLM: With the help of the residents of Lydenburg/Mashishing, we have been investigating basic municipal service investigating basic municipal service delivery by Thaba Chweu Local Municipality this past year. Professional reports were compiled recording the current state of the municipal services infrastructure together with a report on the financial position of the municipality. We submitted our findings to the South African Human Rights Commission on September 29 during their investigation into municipal service delivery in Mpumalanga.

In a nutshell, our findings are that our basic human rights are being infringed upon by the municipality’s lack of service delivery.

The basis of our findings is found in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa that provides that local government must provide certain basic services that include electricity and gas reticulation, municipal planning, stormwater management systems, water and sanitation services, waste and sewerage disposal systems, municipal roads, refuse removal, refuse dumps and solid waste disposal and firefighting/emergency services.

National and provincial governments must see to the effective performance by the municipality of these services and provincial government must monitor and support the municipality. It is our submission that local, provincial and national governments have an obligation towards the residents to provide adequate basic services and that all spheres of government are currently contravening the provisions of the constitution and failing the community. We shall continue with our efforts to hold all spheres of government responsible, and we thank each resident and community forum for their input this past year. The next step for this community is to vote at the upcoming municipal elections. Together we can make a difference. TCLM was supplied with the letter to give a response. It has contacted all the relevant national and provincial departments and is waiting for feedback.

Source: Lowvelder

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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