SAHRC recommends that Cabinet intervenes in Vaal sewage ‘crisis’

The inquiry into the sewage crisis in the Vaal has found the Emfuleni Local Municipality flouted it's constitutional duties by allowing people to live in deteriorating conditions for years.

FILE: Raw sewage at a settlement in Boipatong in the Vaal area. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - An inquiry into the Vaal sewage spill has recommended that Cabinet seriously consider taking a decision for national government to intervene in the running of the Emfuleni Local Municipality.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on Wednesday released the findings of an investigation into the sewage crisis facing the Vaal district.

It's found a number of constitutional violations, including the non-maintenance of water and sanitation infrastructure due to ineffective service delivery.

READ: SAHRC probe finds Vaal river pollution violated several constitutional rights

The inquiry into the sewage crisis in the Vaal has found the Emfuleni Local Municipality flouted it's constitutional duties by allowing people to live in deteriorating conditions for years.

It said the absence of stringent consequence management had impacted the public purse, resulting in the municipality being unable to fulfil its obligations.

Human rights commissioner Jonas Sibanyoni said: “The commission is hereby notifying the local, provincial and national government that the [Vaal] sewage problem is a crisis and an obvious liability to the state.”

The municipality has been unable to repair and replace sewage systems and has failed to comply with the Water Service Act amongst a list of poor service delivery violations

The commission now wants Cabinet to intervene and help the people of Emfuleni, who've had to contend with raw sewage flowing through their streets and homes for years.

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