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South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) reports shocking conditions at informal settlement

August 8, 2013

Findings of an SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) report into living conditions in the Free State’s Masilonyana municipality have been called shocking.

“The investigation by the SAHRC revealed further startling information about conditions of the community which has left me shocked and angered,” DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said.

She was releasing the SAHRC’s report into human rights violations at the Joe Slovo informal settlement in Brandfort in the Masilonyana local municipality.

The SAHRC found the municipality was violating the human rights of people living in the settlement and that several remedial actions had to be taken.

Mazibuko laid a complaint at the commission following a visit to the settlement last year after she walked more than three kilometres with local women to collect water. The women walked the route three times a day on some days, because taps would run dry for weeks and the municipality did not provide clean water.

“These are conditions which no South African should have to endure,” she said.

The SAHRC found Joe Slovo residents had endured contaminated water and water shortages for the past two years. Residents had complained about unknown substances, slime, flies and mosquitoes in their water, which also had a foul smell at times.

Mazibuko said she was pleased with the commission’s investigation.

Free State DA leader Patricia Kopane said the party would meet the municipal leadership, Free State premier Ace Magashule and Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, to discuss what steps could be taken to improve the situation.

Mazibuko said she was confident the SAHRC would enforce its ruling. – Sapa

Find out more about the SAHRC: http://www.sahrc.org.za/home/index.php?ipkContentID=1

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