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DA requests SAHRC to investigate sewage crisis in Elliot

Mar 26, 2020
DA requests SAHRC to investigate sewage crisis in Elliot

Mthatha - The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape says it has approached the South African Human Rights Commission over an apparent sewage crisis in the town of Elliot.

"The appalling living conditions of people living in the Old Township in Elliot is a human rights crisis and the Chris Hani District Municipality (CHDM), responsible for the provision of water and sanitation services in the area, must take full responsibility for this," said Monwabisi Malungisa, a DA Cllr in the Sakhisizwe Local Municipality.

"The people of Old Township have been living in inhumane conditions because of raw sewage flowing in the streets and underneath and into their houses. This problem intensifies when it rains and the DA started reporting the issue to the CHDM in 2017.

"We recently visited a family after it was reported that raw sewage was flowing into their home. We found this family living in sewage with no way of getting rid of it."

Malungisa said that in 2018 the CHDM sent a contractor to fix what they described as rotten pipes, but due to shoddy workmanship some residents are still living in these unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

"Recent reports have also stated that the deadly Coronavirus can be spread through contact with raw sewage," he described.

"According to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa every person has the right to access to sufficient water and decent sanitation.

"The lack of water and sanitation is a public health crisis, and deprives people of their right to live in dignity."

Malungisa further said that this is a gross violation of the people of the settlement’s basic human rights and creates a situation that can lead to a massive increase in the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus in rural Eastern Cape.

"I have therefore written to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)and requested that it investigates this gross violation as a matter of urgency."

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