DA to file SAHRC complaint against ANC human rights abuser over escalating water crisis

21 Mar 2024 in News

Fellow South Africans,

It is an honour to join you here today in the beautiful province of Mpumalanga for Human Rights Day.

The South African Constitution indeed outlines a lofty vision for human rights in our country.

The South Africa described by the Bill of Rights in our Constitution, is a country where every South African lives a life of dignity.

Where everyone is equal before the law.

Where every person lives a free and secure life.

Specifically, section 27 in the Bill of Rights seeks to guarantee the human rights to healthcare, food and – most fundamentally – water.

But, as we gather here today, it is clear that the country described in the Bill of Rights, exists only on paper.

As a result of thirty years of ANC looting and misrule, the country described in our Bill of Rights is a fantasyland for most South Africans.

Instead of equality before the law, our Parliament is headed by a Speaker who allegedly took tender kickbacks while she was Cyril Ramaphosa’s Minister of Defence. Her home was raided by the Hawks just this week as the investigation continues.

Instead of equality before the law, we have a President who continues to shield the Deputy President he appointed, Paul Mashatile, from accountability from grave allegations of corruption and state capture.

We have heard about tenderpreneurs in the ANC, but we now know that Mashatile’s son-in-law is the ultimate tender property dealer. Even though he owes the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements R7 million for housing that was never built, he can create front companies to buy million-rand mansions for his father-in-law that the Hawks are now investigating.

President Ramaphosa told South Africans in parliament on Tuesday that the Director General of the Presidency now has the authority and the capacity to conduct lifestyle audits over his cabinet.

If this is the case, the Presidency must start with its number two and ensure that Deputy President Paul Mashatile’s lifestyle audit is fast tracked and concluded before the end of this term. If any irregularity is detected, he must be removed from the ANC’s lists and not be allowed to return to Parliament.

There is no reason why this process cannot be expedited and completed within 30 days, and before the election.

The fact that both the South African government’s second, and third in command are mired in damning allegations of corruption and bribery is a clear demonstration of just how rotten the head of the ANC fish really is.

Furthermore, it cements the need for lifestyle audits on cabinet members which are now 5 years too late.

Had the lifestyle audits been in place when President Ramaphosa promised them in 2019, these serious personal financial irregularities would have no doubt been detected, and those accused rooted out of public office.

South Africa deserves a government that is not presided over by crooks. We deserve a government that makes our lives better, not worse.

Instead of living in freedom and security, South Africans live in constant fear of one of the highest rates of violent crime in the world.

Instead of having access to quality healthcare, the ANC has turned public hospitals into places where patients go to die.

Rather than solving the problem by ending cadre deployment and building a functional public health sector like the DA has already done in the Western Cape, the ANC is using the health crisis it created as a cover to loot billions more in taxpayer money through its corrupt NHI scheme.

And, instead of living in a country with guaranteed access to water, taps are running dry and water infrastructure is in an advanced state of collapse wherever the ANC is in power.

The escalating water crisis created by the ANC is not only a grave violation of human rights. It also poses a direct threat to the lives of South Africans.

We all know that water is life.

It is the one substance without which no living creature can survive.

Without clean water, we cannot grow food.

Without clean water, we cannot wash, or stay healthy.

Without clean water to drink, every single person here will die.

Without reliable sewerage systems, illness spreads and life becomes unbearable.

It does not matter if you are rich or poor, black, white, Indian or coloured, whether you live in a township, on a farm or in a suburb.

Without clean water, you will die.

By taking away your access to water, the ANC is directly threatening your life and the lives of your family members.

This latest crisis created by the ANC could not be more urgent.

A human being can stay alive without many of the things the ANC has already taken away from South Africans.

It may not be a life truly worth living, but it is technically possible for you to remain alive without most other basic services.

But not a single human being can survive without clean water to drink.

Sadly, the province of Mpumalanga is caught firmly in the grip of the spiralling water crisis created by the ANC.

Various villages that fall under the City of Mbombela are without water, with residents forced to buy water elsewhere.

For the past six years, the residents of Hillsview in Mbombela have had to live with untreated sewerage running down their streets.

In Steve Tshwete municipality, the taps connected to boreholes have run dry.

In the Msukaligwa and Lekwa municipalities, raw sewerage is discharged directly into drinking water resources.

In Thaba Chweu, R580 million meant for capital investment into water projects was looted by ANC cadres and had to be written off while residents have no water to drink.

But this crisis is also not limited to Mpumalanga, or to rural provinces.

Big cities under the control of the coalition of corruption between the ANC, EFF and the Patriotic Alliance, including Johannesburg and Durban, are experiencing a water crisis unlike anything this country has ever seen before.

As untreated effluent spreads disease, as taps run dry, and as residents panic about the prospect that water may never return to their taps, what is the response of the ANC and its coalition partners?

On Tuesday, the ANC’s puppet mayor in Johannesburg simply said there is no water crisis.

Even as the people of Johannesburg live without running water for weeks on end, the ANC and its partners could not be bothered to even acknowledge the scale of the crisis.

They simply deny that it exists.

After three decades of ANC looting, there is now only one province left in this country that does not face a looming water disaster.

The one exception to South Africa’s escalating water-shedding crisis, is the DA-led Western Cape.

Just like the Western Cape is the only province that has not been looted into the ground or left to decay, it is no coincidence that beautiful, clean drinking water is always available in the only DA-run province, while people in other provinces go thirsty.

The only reason that the Western Cape has not been plunged into a water crisis like the rest of South Africa, is because the Western Cape is run by the DA.

The reality is very simple.

If we want to end the grave human rights violations caused by the ANC-created water crisis, then we must vote the ANC out on the 29th of May.

And if we want to provide access to safe, clean and reliable drinking water and sewerage infrastructure to all South Africans, we must vote the DA into power on the 29th of May.

Unlike the ANC and its puppets in small parties, the DA takes the water crisis in Mpumalanga, in Johannesburg, in eThekwini and in all ANC-run regions, deadly seriously.

Unlike the ANC, the DA understands that water is life.

That is why I can today announce that the DA will intensify our efforts to combat ANC water-shedding across South Africa, starting today.

On this Human Rights Day, the DA will file an urgent complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission over the ANC government’s brazen and ongoing violation of section 27 of the Bill of Rights.

In particular, we are filing complaints on behalf of the residents in municipalities, and dependent on entities such as:

  1. eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal;
  2. Ugu District Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal;
  3. Rand Water, Gauteng;
  4. Johannesburg Water, Gauteng;
  5. Emfuleni Local Municipality, Gauteng;
  6. Merafong City Local Municipality, Gauteng; and
  7. Mogale City Local Municipality, Gauteng.

All of these municipalities are where the ANC and their partners, the EFF and the PA, have stolen money meant for water infrastructure maintenance, and threatened the very lives of residents who now wonder when they will have water again.

Section 27 of the Constitution entitles every South African to access water.

Taking away South Africans’ access to water as demanded by the Constitution, means that this ANC government is nothing less than a government of human rights abusers.

And yet, as we speak, those same human rights abusers will be celebrating Human Rights Day.

To expect that South Africans should celebrate this day when the ANC has taken away the most fundamental human right of access to water, is an insult to all the people of this country.

My fellow South Africans,

Like loadshedding, there is only one real cause for the intensifying crisis that will soon leave our already hungry, impoverished and desperate nation without water: the African National Congress.

The human rights abusers in the African National Congress poses the single greatest threat to the life and survival of every person in our country.

The ANC has taken away your access to electricity.

It has taken away your access to decent healthcare.

It has taken away your access to a clean environment, to a dignified life, and to the water you and your family need to survive.

On the 29th of May, it is time to return the favour.

I now call on the Mpumalanga Provincial Executive to join me.

In this election, the time has come to take away the ANC’s majority.

For thirty years, they have abused the trust of the people to enrich themselves, their families and their cadres – at the expense of the very people who elected them into office.

There is only one way to claim back what the ANC has taken away from you.

To take restore the fundamental human rights, like access to clean water, that you have been robbed of.

If you want electricity back in your house.

If you want food back on your table.

If you want a job and money back in your pocket.

If you want water back in your taps.

Then, at the election on 29 May, you must rescue South Africa from the human rights abusers – and elect a DA government into office that will fix what the ANC has broken.

Thank you.