SAHRC warns of service delivery crisis

An HRC report report revealed 1.4m households have no access to proper sanitation.

Communal toilets in the Kosovo informal Settlement in Cape Town. Picture: Siyabonga Sesant/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Urgent intervention is needed in at least 23 municipalities nationally, to prevent outbreaks of waterborne diseases.

This is just one of the shocking findings of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)'s report on service delivery in the country.

The document has been handed to government for further scrutiny.

The Human Rights Commission says based on an assessment of water services, 23 municipalities run the acute risk of disease outbreak.

The report reveals 1.4 million households have no access to sanitation services while 3.8 million homes within formal areas, also lack proper sanitation.

The HRC says local government is accountable and must evaluate and the address the reasons behind poor sanitation.


The commission says the death of a child in a pit toilet in Limpopo has become a symbol of government's failure to provide adequate sanitation at some schools in poor areas.

The mother of Michael Komape was present at the unveiling of the damning HRC report.

The six-year-old boy died when he fell into a pit toilet at his school in Polokwane last month.

Addressing the HRC in Sotho, Makone Komape relived the day she found the body of her six-year-old son Michael inside a pit toilet.

She says she was called after no one at the school knew where Michael was.

Komape says a fellow pupil eventually led the search party to the pit toilet and the last thing she saw before fainting, was her son's hand sticking out.

She says her son was stuck inside the make-shift loo for six hours before his lifeless body was brought to the surface.