Sekhukhune communities petition Parliament to dissolve Municipality
- Lee-Anne Bruce
CALS represents communities who have approached the Select Committee on Petitions following years of struggle for proper access to water
Since 2009, five villages from the Sekhukhune area of Limpopo have been struggling to access adequate water. In 2015, with the assistance of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, the communities approached the High Court in Pretoria in an effort to force their Municipality to provide water. Despite reaching an agreement with the Municipality that was made an order of court, the communities have had to go back and forth to court in an attempt to enforce this order.
Despite several more orders, contempt of court proceedings and attempts to have the Acting Municipal Manager placed under arrest, the communities remain without proper access to water. In 2021, with the assistance of the Right2Protest Project, the communities drafted a petition to draw attention to their struggle. This petition was submitted to Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation and to the Select Committee on Petitions and Executive Undertakings.
The communities asked the Portfolio Committee to hold the Department of Water and Sanitation to account for the violation of their constitutional rights and disregard for the judiciary and court orders. They asked the Select Committee to refer the petition to the Limpopo Provincial Government Executive Council and recommend that it dissolve the Municipal Council and place the Sekhukhune District Municipality under administration.
The Select Committee heard the petition on 9 June 2022 and engaged meaningfully with the community members and their legal representatives. One of the most promising outcomes of the meeting was a commitment by the Select Committee to conduct a site inspection. Watch the full content of the hearing below.