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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

NW municipalities’ human rights violations confirmed

29 September 2021

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says it is extremely concerned about poor service delivery in the North West.

North West Provincial Manager, Osmond Mngomezulu, says the lack of access to water, inadequate sanitation and sewage spillages in many communities is a violation of human rights.
The Commission is conducting oversight inspections in the Ngaka Modiri Molema as well as in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipalities.

Mngomezulu tells OFM News they have received several complaints over the lack of municipal services in these districts, with some residents subjected to sewage spillages in their yards coupled with dry taps.

Mngomezulu confirms the commission has invited heads of local municipalities to accompany them on their week-long on-site inspections to account for the plight faced by residents.

“The situation is deeply concerning. Where we started in Zeerust, there are villages that are without water at all. Yesterday we went to Delareyville and Sannieshof the situation is also really concerning. Some of the residents there are subjected to live as though they have no constitutional rights. There is sewage spillages in people’s yards, in streets, roads are inaccessible. Graveyards are flooded with sewages. It smells, there is a strong stench. Some residents have to deal with human excrement flowing into their yards” said Mngomezulu.

He says they are also in talks with Cogta over their investigations.

OFM News has previously reported on how municipalities in the province lost millions through their investment in the now liquidated VBS Mutual Bank.

According to the latest Auditor-General report, the financial health of municipalities in the North West continues to be a cause of concern with more than half of them placed under administration.

The report indicates that municipalities in the province are characterised by lack of financial controls, lack of accountability and high irregular expenditures.

All 22 municipalities in the province are making use of consultants in addition to their financial staff complement, leading to wasteful expenditure. A total of R277,7 million was spent by municipalities in the province during the 2019/20 financial year alone.

According to the AG, coupled with their high irregular expenditure, they are battling to generate revenue nor provide services to residents. Following this week’s inspections, Mngomezulu confirms they will next week be heading to the troubled Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality. This municipality invested R150 million in the now defunct bank.

Source: OFM News

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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