Communities in Mpumalanga’s Chief Albert Luthuli Municipality have complained to the South African Human Rights Commission about service delivery once more (SAHRC).
Residents of Lochiel and eNhlazatshe were contacted by commission personnel as part of a follow-up investigation into service delivery difficulties in municipalities conducted last year.
The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has begun a week-long site assessment in the Mpumalanga municipalities of Gert Sibande and Nkangala. Teams of investigators have been stationed throughout the two district municipalities, attempting to confirm the accusations filed with the commission late last year.
Following occasional protest actions in various towns, residents were encouraged to participate in a debate.
Lack of clean drinking water and poor road infrastructure remain among the complaints raised with the commission.
“Is the road mostly cars can’t go here taxis and the police if they want fetch someone here they can’t. Even the ambulance they can’t help people who are sick or pregnant to take them to hospital. They can’t go on this road because the holes are too big.
We want them to fix the roads because we can’t continue like this.”
“In our community we are facing the problem about water because many section haven’t got water.”
The SAHRC promised to hold authorities accountable. Provincial Deputy Commissioner Shirley Mlombo says authorities will be given space to address the complaints.
“So we expect once we have issued this directive in terms what has to happen is to remedy the issues. We expect that municipalities and other government functions would actually act and implement those directives. Of course if they don’t implement there are steps that the commission can take. Those steps do include court action if they are not complying.”
The Human Rights Commission says the living conditions of some residents especially in the previously disadvantaged communities remain a cause of concern.
Mlombo elaborates. “And the specific issues the communities have been raising with us constantly over the years are issues to access to water, issues of access to sanitation that’s what we are finding.
And what we are finding on the ground you know is the same issues.
If they are not implemented there are steps the commission can take to ensure that those directives are enforced and are complied with by the relevant officials.”
The commission is expected to wrap its oversight investigations by the end of the week .