Crisis in Dihlabeng, Kanana: Urgent action required to address sewage crisis

Issued by Irene Rugheimer – DA Councillor Dihlabeng Local Municipality
08 Jun 2023 in Press Statements

Note to editors: Please find attached the English soundbite by Cllr Irene Rugheimer and Sesotho by Karabo Khakhau MP.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is deeply concerned about the dire sewer crisis currently plaguing Dihlabeng Local Municipality. The severity of the situation cannot be overstated, as residents are grappling with sewage infiltrating their homes, resorting to desperate measures like creating openings in walls to release the sewage, and living in areas surrounded by flowing sewage. This poses immediate health risks, including the potential outbreak of cholera, and demands urgent attention. Please see pictures here, here, here, here and here.

It is disheartening to learn that the municipality is facing shortages of essential equipment and spare parts needed to effectively resolve the crisis. The lack of vital resources has hindered their ability to address the situation promptly. Additionally, financial constraints resulting from an unfunded budget have exacerbated the challenges faced by the municipality, making it difficult to even procure the necessary components for repairs.

Given the gravity of the situation, the DA calls upon the relevant authorities at all levels of government to take immediate action. We urge the municipality to work closely with the community, fostering transparency and effective communication throughout the process. Residents should be kept informed with regular updates regarding progress, plans, and timelines, as they endure the detrimental effects of this crisis. The DA will continue to inform the community of steps to be taken to avoid the health risks.

The health and well-being of the municipality’s residents are at stake, and the potential risks associated with the spread of diseases like cholera cannot be ignored. Immediate intervention is crucial to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of the affected population.

The DA is committed to holding the municipality accountable for resolving this crisis and will continue to advocate for the necessary resources and support. We will compile a report highlighting the various human rights violations and submit it for investigation to the Human Rights Commission (HRC). We stand in solidarity with the residents of Dihlabeng, and together, we can work towards a swift resolution.