Gauteng SAHRC receives 1 500 complaints in past year

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In the past year alone, 1 500 complaints have been received by the Gauteng Human Rights Commission. The commission gave feedback on several high-profile cases that dominated the public space in 2023.

From the rampant cholera outbreak in Tshwane to the shocking sewage spill in Emfuleni that left communities wallowing in a swamp of dirty, untreated water, the Commission says it has seen a sharp increase in water shortages and sewage spills in the Emfuleni region in recent months.

Gauteng SAHRC provincial manager Zamantungwa Mbeki says the problems are more prevalent in the townships and the municipality is very slow to respond.

Save the Vaal Committee in the area is also being consulted.  They have flagged dysfunctional municipalities as being central to the ongoing service delivery challenges. They are calling on the national government to intervene and take action to deal with the problem as a matter of urgency.

They have reported the offending municipalities to the Department of Cooperative Governance.

Meanwhile, in Tshwane, the cholera outbreak and the quality of water in Hammanskraal led to serious health concerns. Buga says close to R500 million towards the first phase of the wastewater treatment.

“R450 million funding given to project plan of Tshwane. If fully funded it will require R9 billion.”

Zamantungwa Mbeki, from the SAHRC Gauteng office, says the hospitals in the province are overburdened as they have to service patients from outside the province.

“These hospitals receive patients from outside the province due to their specialties such as the oncology units. However, there are issues with the nursing staff. There is the unavailability of specialised nurses and nurses who are burnt out.”

The Human Rights Commission has also flagged a rise in hate speech in schools — in the form of xenophobic and racist remarks.