By Nosimo Balindlela MP, DA Shadow Minister of Water and Sanitation:
These are remarks made on 2 July 2015 by the DA Shadow Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nosimo Balindlela MP DA Deputy Shadow Minister of Water and Sanitation Leon Basson MP following an oversight visit to Madibeng in the North West.
What I have witnessed today in Madibeng is truly a crime against humanity. It saddens me that for the past 10 years Madibeng, a once thriving municipality has denigrated into a serviceless, corruption-rife and desolate municipality.
The DA believes that each and every South African should lead a dignified life. This can only be possible if the government of the day delivers the most essential basic services that our people deserve. The Constitution enshrines the rights for all South Africans to have access to clean drinking water.
The Communities of Letlhabile, Jericho, Sunway Village and Mothotlung have been left without water for the past three years, yet they are still billed by the Municipality services that have not been delivered.
I spoke to residents in all the communities that make up Madibeng and what I was told was heart wrenching. A mother whom I spoke to in Sunway Village told the story of how she lost her 9 year old son who died drowning in an unfenced and unregulated sewage plant. Local farmers and business have been affected by the very same sewage plant, due to the boreholes that have been affected.
Taps are non-functional and residents have to walk up to 20-30 km to collect water from a nearby church, for which they are charged R1 per 25 litres.
Madibeng has been plagued by maladministration and has in the past year had 3 executive mayors. The MEC for Local Government, Collin Maine has ignored all the calls made by the DA to step in and turn the situation around.
It is unfair that politicians and public officials loot the public purse whilst residents in many of the communities in Madibeng continue to suffer and endure hardship unnecessarily when money should be appropriated for the delivery of basic services.
The DA will be pursuing the following action in order to resolve the ongoing water crisis in Madibeng:
- We will write to the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, to request that she urgently table a turn-around plan for Madibeng;
- We will also be writing to the Chairpersons of the Portfolio Committees of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Water and Sanitation, to request that a joint committee be established to summon all role-players that need to account to Parliament; and
- We will request the South African Human Rights Commission to investigate the human rights violations in the communities we visited.
My colleague Leon Basson MP and several of the DA local government Councillors will continue to ensure that the residents of Madibeng’s townships receive the good quality services they deserve.