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Daily Maverick - South Africa's ultimate problem: water delivery failure

Daily Maverick - South Africa's ultimate problem: water delivery failure | Lawfare: Water Wars | Scoop.it

At the beginning of July this year, the Legal Resources Centre and the Lawyers for Human Rights united to bring about a high court ruling to compel the Gert Sibande Municipality in Mpumalanga to deliver clean, drinkable water to residents of Silobela, Caropark and Carolina. To date, however, the municipality is still in defiance of that ruling.

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Lawfare: Water Wars
War in courts for access to clean drinking water
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AfriForum wins fight for water

AfriForum wins fight for water | Lawfare: Water Wars | Scoop.it
AfriForum has been granted an urgent order against the Vhembe district municipality by the North Gauteng High Court, forcing it to supply water to Makhado residents.

"The order sets a national precedent for supplying water and service delivery in general as the order commits the municipality to reporting progress from building infrastructure, to making running water available to the Louis Trichardt community."

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Coping with water scarcity: An action framework for agriculture and food security (August 2012)

Coping with water scarcity: An action framework for agriculture and food security (August 2012) | Lawfare: Water Wars | Scoop.it
The United Nations food agency today launched a framework that will help combat food insecurity by providing methods to better manage water resources in agriculture and reduce waste.

The initiative, entitled Coping with water scarcity: An action framework for agriculture and food security, seeks to encourage practices that will improve water management, such as modernizing irrigation schemes, recycling and re-using wastewater, implementing mechanisms to reduce water pollution, and storing rainwater at farms to reduce drought-related risks, among others.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which created the framework, drought in some parts of the world has hurt global grain production and contributed to a spike in food prices nearly every other year since 2007, making it essential to focus on the way water is managed throughout the entire food chain.

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Water scarcity driving protests – study

Water scarcity driving protests – study | Lawfare: Water Wars | Scoop.it
A lack of adequate and safe drinking water played a significant part in service delivery protests across the nation, the Water Research Commission said.

 

Linnewho: "Naturalisation is a strategy used to depict water problems as a result of ‘natural causes, wholly outside of the control of society’"

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The Legal Resources Centre - 2012 07 31 Press Release: Municipalities take new steps to avoid obligation to provide water to Carolina community

Linnewho:

 

On 16 July 2012 the two municipalities applied for leave of appeal, arguing that they are not accredited water service providers and therefore cannot comply with the court order of 10 July 2012. The LRC and LHR opposed the application. On 26 July 2012 the parties were back in court, the second case (FES II)  Mavundla J, decided to grant application for leave to appeal. The judge explains that if he refuses to grant leave to appeal, the respondents, can still petition and further prolong the matter. But if he grants leave to appeal, it would avoid “the costly exercise of having to petition, and facilitate in expeditiously bringing the matter to finality”.

 

By granting the leave of appeal, law of procedure prescribe that the order by the court is also suspended pending the outcome of that appeal. Rule 49(11) of the Uniform Rules of Court provides an exception where the potential harm to one of the parties requires that the order be executed even pending an appeal of the original decision. Mavundla, J rejects the argument of the respondents that the order made by the court on 10 July 2012 are unenforceable and must be suspended pending the outcome of the appeal in terms rule 49(1) of the Uniform Rules of the Court. He reaches the conclusion that the protection of the community’s rights has greater importance than the respondents’ rights. He emphasizes that ‘[t]he community stands to suffer more harm than the respondents. .. I am of the view that in balancing the respective rights of the parties, I must incline towards protection of the rights of the community and uplift the suspension of the operation of the order, ..”.

 

LRC “Press Release: Municipalities take new steps to avoid obligation to provide water to Carolina community” 31 July 2012 http://www.lrc.org.za/press-releases/2181-2012-07-31-press-release-municipalities-take-new-steps-to-avoid-obligation-to-provide-water-to-carolina-community-

 

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The Legal Resources Centre - 2012 07 17 Press Release: Carolina residents oppose leave to appeal by municipalities and seek leave to execute judgment immediately to secure basic water supply

On 16 July 2012 the two municipalities applied for leave of appeal, arguing that they are not accredited water service providers and therefore cannot comply with the court order of 10 July 2012. The LRC and LHR opposed the application.

 

17 July 2012

 

LRC “Press Release: Carolina residents oppose leave to appeal by municipalities and seek leave to execute judgment immediately to secure basic water supply” 17 July 2012 http://www.lrc.org.za/press-releases/2143-2012-07-17-press-release-carolina-residents-oppose-leave-to-appeal-by-municipalities-and-seek-leave-to-execute-judgment-immediately-to-secure-basic-water-supply-

 

 

 

 

 

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Carolina residents take their water woes to court

Carolina residents take their water woes to court | Lawfare: Water Wars | Scoop.it
Carolina residents take their water woes to court...

 

Linnewho: "On 10 July 2012, Mavundla, J in the first FES case ordered two municipalities in Mpumalanga to provide temporary potable water to their residents within 72 hours after the applicants presented evidence that the potable water in the area cannot be considered suitable for human or animal consumption"

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Urgent move on polluted water

Urgent move on polluted water | Lawfare: Water Wars | Scoop.it
Urgent move on polluted water...

 

For people living on the West Rand the need for an urgent solution is clear.

 

Sitting under a leafy blue gum tree, Themba Malopo looked exhausted. Even scooping atchaar on his half-loaf of white bread was laborious. “It is a struggle here. Everything is a struggle. I work at a garage but I must go to the hospital many times and I lose money.”

He said his children stay with their grandmother but she struggles on her pension. “Life here is too hard.”

 

Malopo lives in Tudor Shaft, a community of haphazard, dilapidated corrugated iron houses next to a tar road outside Krugersdorp. There are puddles of muddy water and rebellious tufts of grass in the area and layers of rust on the towering electricity pylons. In the centre of the community is an old mine tailings dam. A cluster of yellow cranes on the horizon is the only break from the towering dumps that stretch as far as the eye can see.

 

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Creation of cheap labour a means to profits: Marikana mineworkers massacre in South Africa | rabble.ca

Creation of cheap labour a means to profits: Marikana mineworkers massacre in South Africa | rabble.ca | Lawfare: Water Wars | Scoop.it

"Lonmin's publicly available business review tracks such things as "labour and community unrest" as a production interruption. Lonmin and its previous incarnations have been in the South African mining business since the time of apartheid, and it's had its share of experience with community and labour unrest. "Communities impacted upon by mining and who make way for mining are no longer prepared to accept the status quo," said the executive director of the Bench Marks Foundation in an April 2012 statement in its review of South Africa's communities affected by mining (From the Bench Marks Foundation media statement, 'Communities impacted upon by mining want real holistic development.' 23 April 2012).
The status quo is such that the business of mining generates billions of dollars in revenues while local communities are left to suffer the negative environmental, economic, and social consequences."

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Daily Maverick - South Africa's ultimate problem: water delivery failure

Daily Maverick - South Africa's ultimate problem: water delivery failure | Lawfare: Water Wars | Scoop.it

At the beginning of July this year, the Legal Resources Centre and the Lawyers for Human Rights united to bring about a high court ruling to compel the Gert Sibande Municipality in Mpumalanga to deliver clean, drinkable water to residents of Silobela, Caropark and Carolina. To date, however, the municipality is still in defiance of that ruling.

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Water war in court

Water war in court | Lawfare: Water Wars | Scoop.it
The nation’s courts are fast becoming the battleground for a new war: the fight by South Africans to get access to clean water.
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The Legal Resources Centre - 2012 08 08 Press Release: “Fiasco in Carolina” - Judge dismisses municipality’s application for leave to appeal and asks for political solution

Linnewho:

 

On the 30 July 2012, the LRC and LHR had once again been served with an application to appeal the rule 49(1) order by the High Court. LHR and LRC have filed a notice to oppose the application. On 3 August 2012 in the 3rd cse (FES III), Mavundla J corrected a patent error in order of the 26th of July. The correction was of a minor typographical error and omission to include the word 'not' in the judgment that the order from the 10th of July - that the municipality provides temporary potable water to the residents of Silobela, Caropark and Carolina - was 'not' suspended pending the outcome of the appeal.

 

On 15 Augustus 2012 the parties again returned to court. In 4th case, FES IV, the municipalities applied for an application to appeal the rule 49(11) order and a varying of the order of 26 July 2012 where Mavundla J on the 3 August amended the wording of paragraph 3 of the order (the omission of "not"). Mavundla J dismissed both applications for leave to appeal by the by the Gert Sibande District Municipality. In the press release of the LRC the implications of the this judgment are summarised as follows:

 

"The implications of this judgement is that the order that was handed down on 10 of July stands and that the Gert Sibande District Municipality has to provide temporary potable water to the residents of Silobela, Caropark and Carolina by no later than [21 Augustus] Tuesday afternoon."

 

Mavundla J further appealed to the respondents to be pragmatic about the role of the court, to look beyond the legal problems and to resolve the issue in Carolina, even if that would entail finding a political solution. See paras 18 - 20

 

"[18] It was conceded on behalf of the respondents, quite correctly so, in my view, that the solution to their difficulty in complying with the Court's order is a political one. It was quite correctly pointed out on behalf of the applicants that, the first to fourth respondents in the main application placed it on record that they are willing to advance necessary funds to the respondents to resolve the plight of the affected residents in casu. Any difficulty to comply with the order, if any, can therefore be resolved at political level by the respondents and this would therefore remove any harm whatsoever, if any, on the part of the respondents

 

[19] On the other hand, the water crisis has a potential of destabilizing the tranquility in the particular affected area, which would lead to untold damages. I am of the view that the Court is at liberty, to take note of the fact that many a times in the Country, when communities register their dissatisfaction over service delivery, they resort to a chaotic and uncontrolled destructive frenzy. Good governance requires that such possibilities should be averted and the Courts should not refrain in ordering those structures of governance in taking positive steps aimed at achieving this, inter alia, and the progressive realization of the ethos enshrined in the Constitution;18 Vide also Linvestment CC v Hammersley and Another.

 

[20] As already indicated earlier, the applicants have placed evidence, in a form of an affidavit, demonstrating that potable water is not provided regularly, but intermittently, and the water is not as yet suitable for human consumption, post the judgments of 10 and 26 July 2012. Having regard to all these factors and the authorities referred to herein above, it is my considered view that it is not in the interest of justice that the relief sought by the respondents should be granted. I therefore conclude that the application should be dismissed as already ordered."

 

LRC “Press Release: “Fiasco in Carolina” - Judge dismisses municipality’s application for leave to appeal and asks for political solution” 8 August 2012 http://www.lrc.org.za/press-releases/2211-2012-08-08-press-release-fiasco-in-carolina-judge-dismisses-municipalitys-application-for-leave-to-appeal-and-asks-for-political-solution-

 

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Federation for Sustainable Environment and Others v Minister of Water Affairs and Others (35672/12) [2012] ZAGPPHC 128 (10 July 2012)

On 10 July 2012, Mavundla, J ordered two municipalities in Mpumalanga to provide temporary potable water to their residents within 72 hours.

 

Federation for Sustainable Environment and Others v Minister of Water Affairs and Others (35672/12) [2012] ZAGPPHC 128 (10 July 2012). http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZAGPPHC/2012/128.html

 

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The Legal Resources Centre - 2012 07 10 Press Release: Legal Resources Centre and Lawyers for Human Rights welcome Carolina water judgment

The LRC is a human rights organization in South Africa.

 

10 July 2012

 

LRC “Press Release: LRC and LHR welcome Carolina water judgment” 10 July 2012 http://www.lrc.org.za/press-releases/2122-2012-07-10-press-release-legal-resources-centre-and-lawyers-for-human-rights-welcome-carolina-water-judgment-

 

 

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Carolina: Living in a town with acid water

Carolina: Living in a town with acid water | Lawfare: Water Wars | Scoop.it
Carolina: Living in a town with acid water...

The only long-term solution is to close the open-cast mines for Carolina residents, who are plagued by acid water.

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