DA lays HRC complaint over Phalaborwa water crisis

Lindy Wilson, MP
DA Constituency Head: Phalaborwa, Maruleng, Tzaneen:

The DA has today laid a complaint with the Human Rights Commission (HRC) over the tragic shortage of water, and water infrastructure among the people of Phalaborwa.

The area has no boreholes, the municipality does not deliver water tanks to the area, and residents are forced to walk up to six kilometers to fetch water because their homes are not connected to the water grid, and a black market for drinking water has sprung up.

Millions owed by Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality to Lepelle Northern Water means that all water to the town may imminently be cut off completely.

Very few residents in Benfarm Village have a tap. These are the only source of water to the entire Village, and low pressure means that it takes 25 minutes to fill a drum.

In other part of Phalaborwa, children are leaving home in the early hours of the morning to collect water before going to school.

On Saturday, the DA marched in solidarity with the people of Phalaborwa, and witnessed a tiny six year old girl pushing a wheelbarrow with three 20 litre drums over two kilometres to fill the tanks and take them home.

This has created a black market for water in the town. Elderly and child-headed households are being forced to pay R10.00 per drum of water, out of their grant money, to obtain water.

According to reports by Stats SA and Unicef, 42% of children in Limpopo Province are reliant on water from a public water source or a neighbour. This is unacceptably high.

The DA submits this complaint to the HRC to investigate this unconstitutional situation as we believe that this is a clear violation of the human right to have access to water.

The DA will be engaging the local municipality to provide residents with a water tanker in the interim.