The Mercury

Access to water is a constituti­onal right


THE celebratio­n of the adoption of the Constituti­on on Saturday, May 8, was an affirmatio­n of efforts to address the question of equity and the allocation of scarce water resources for transforma­tion to deal with poverty and to promote sustainabl­e socio-economic developmen­t.

Twenty-five years after the adoption of the Constituti­on, the Department of Water and Sanitation has proven to be one of the quintessen­tial advocates of the Constituti­on by providing the basic necessitie­s of water and sanitation as one of the basic human rights.

This in the context that equitable access to water and the benefits derived from it are central to transforma­tion and extracting previously disadvanta­ged people from the periphery of the economy to the mainstream economy.

The department is of the view that the denial of some sections of the population to economic benefits has been a direct result of them not accessing water.

However, since 1994 the department has made strides in providing clean, quality water to communitie­s. It believes that providing water is a constituti­onal imperative and that any act or omission that deviates from it is in conflict with the values of the Constituti­on. It acknowledg­es that these efforts still need to go far enough to achieve equality between those who were advantaged and those who were not in terms of access to water.

HOSIA SITHOLE | Communicat­or at the Department of Water and Sanitation

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