ActionSA & Kroonstad Concerned Citizens Will Request SAHRC to investigate Moqhaka Municipality

ActionSA and Kroonstad Concerned Citizens will now approach the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) requesting them to investigate Moqhaka Municipality for contravening Section 151 of the National Water Act, 1998 (Act No. 36 of 1998).

This comes after being let down by the justice system that has postponed the case on numerous occasions. This time the postponement was due to the Defence Advocate, Zola Majavu, not being able to attend today’s hearing.

Giving a feeble reason that he only arrived back in South Africa yesterday, 10 October 2023.

He personally requested the postponement of the case to 11-13 October 2023 to enable him to bring in a professional engineer to concur if the Carel Combrink Report was accurate.

The expectation was that he would meet with Mr. Combrink during the last 5 months between May and October 2023, but that meeting did not materialize. Neither the engineer nor Mr. Majavu appeared in court today, nor was the report available.

Kroonstad Concerned Citizens together with ActionSA notes that this dilatory action is not acceptable considering that the case has been postponed more than 12 times in 19 months because of Mr. Majavu and his antics.

He even tried to get the case struck off the roll two occasions specifically on 17 & 21 February 2023. The Magistrate granted the postponement on certain conditions.

ActionSA and Kroonstad Concerned Residents will now approach the SAHRC to request them to investigate Moqhaka Municipality for contravening Section 151 of the National Water Act of 1998  which stipulates that any water services authority that becomes aware of a spillage of sewage or effluent must take immediate steps to stop the spillage and clean up the affected area.

The Department of Water and Sanitation has issued guidelines that recommend that sewage spills should be cleaned up as soon as possible, and ideally within 24 hours, in order to minimize the risk of public health hazards and environmental pollution.

Moqhaka should be held accountable for the raw sewage that is being pumped from the local pump stations into the Vals and Vaal River, contaminating water therefore placing people’s lives in danger.

We also appeal to the South African Justice System to recognize the urgency in the above matter and act accordingly.