Embalenhle sewage crisis an offence to Madiba’s legacy

Anthony Benadie MPL

Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

Note: The following statement was made by Anthony Benadie to the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature.

On Saturday 25 May, I visited the Embalenhle community in Govan Mbeki municipality.

Not only is this the least developed community in our province, with thousands of informal shack houses, but the entire Embalenhle is one massive sewage spill. Thousands of residents have no toilets, and those that have been constructed are often not connected to the sewerage and water network.

My colleagues and I were horrified at the conditions the people of Mandela Section are forced to live in. An entire street has become a river of sewage, with a massive dam of human waste formed at the end of the road, amongst the houses of residents. This is a humanitarian disaster waiting to happen, with unnecessary health risks and the very real possibility of a large scale outbreak of cholera, dysentery or typhoid fever. Not to mention the danger of a child drowning in sewage, should one to fall into these dams in the street.

Honourable Speaker, in 2006 construction commenced on the R49 million sewerage reticulation network, yet since its completion in 2009, sewer blockages, spillages and malfunctioning pump stations have become a daily occurrence, due to shoddy workmanship, corner cutting and downright profiteering – with no action from the ANC run council.

This situation and the condition of the entire Embalenhle community, is the greatest violation of human dignity in post democratic South Africa. Nothing worse than this exists, and the ANC should be ashamed of itself. Yesterday, we submitted an urgent request to the Human Rights Commission to investigate this situation and to make a finding accordingly.

Not only is the inhumane conditions in Mandela section a reflection of how the ANC fails the people of this province, but it is undoubtedly the greatest insult to South Africa’s greatest leader – Madiba – as Embalenhle and Mandela Section symbolise exactly what Madiba fought against, and dedicated his life to save our country’s people from.

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