What do you think is the most urgent human rights issue in this town?
By Thabani Mdlongwa (Guest contributor )
In Grahamstown, many would argue that access to water is a burning issue. The issue of access to clean, quality water provision remains a serious challenge in Grahamstown.
The right to water
The starting point for the right to water is contained in the South African Constitution, Section 27 which provides for the “rights to health care, food, water and social security which the state must progressively realise within the limits of its resources.”
Furthermore, The Water Services Act (WSA) 108 OF 1997 is the key legislation that regulates water provision in South Africa with the key provision being that “Everyone has a right of access to basic water supply and basic sanitation”.
Access to water challenges
The water challenges in Grahamstown have been well documented and some of these challenges are being addressed by the Municipality. The Makana Municipality Director of infrastructure recently gave a wide ranging interview in the Grocott’s Mail on how he and his directorate intend to solve many of the infrastructure challenges in general, and in particular the issue around water provision.
The role of MobiSAM
Despite this, many challenges remain on a day to day basis with regards to water provision. It thus becomes imperative that in the short or short-medium term there needs to be better communication, improved service delivery to community members, and more support from the municipality for initiatives like MobiSAM.
Mobisam is a Mobile Social Accountability and Monitoring Platform, which helps com- munities with regards to service delivery challenges when it comes to water provision, but also form a basis for accountability and transparency.
Thabani Mdlongwa is the former local government researcher at the Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM). This article was published in the PSAM newsletter published in May 2016.
For more information and research conducted by PSAM on Makana Municipality please visit their website: http://www.psam.org.za/monitoring-&-advocacy.htm
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