100 signatures reached
To: The Mayor and municipality of Rustenburg; the Provincial and National Departments of Water, South Africa
Ensure that water is delivered to the community of Syferbult through the taps and infrastructure already in place.
Why is this important?
Syferbult is a very impoverished community of over a 1000 people living in shacks. About a hundred of the adults get seasonal work, from two to four months of the year; the rest make do on whatever grants they can access.
Despite a contractor putting in taps and pipes that function, fgor years the community has received slightly erratic tanker water. In September, they received nothing for three full weeks. Since then they have received approximately four tankers (enough for drinking water for four days) and the water has run in the taps twice for about 45 minutes (without any warning or notification).
The councillor for Ward 36 claims this is because they owe Eskom R6000; I've also been told the water can't be pumped because of: cable theft; problems with the diesel generator; a circuit breaker malfunctioning; and the township has not been formalised (if so, why was infrastucture contracted and put in place?)
On 18 October, the thirsty, dusty and dirty community finally exploded and marched in protest. They were met with rubber bullets and tear gas - one person was injured, thankfully not seriously.
And still the children, the sick, the elderly are thirsty - so thirsty that when we arrive with bakkie-loads of water, they run and jump on the back of the moving vehicle, unable to hold back, desperate for the precious fluid.
This is unconstitutional. "The right of access to sufficient water is accorded to everyone in s 27(1)(b) of the Constitution, which states that everyone has the right to have access to sufficient water. Section 27(2) requires the State to take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of the right."
Syferbult is not alone in this plight. I have heard of at least six other communities in Rustenburg area with the same problem. Yet phoning, emailing, attending meetings , buttonholing the councillor.... nothing works. Please spread this far and wide.