Masifundise and the Eastern Cape branch of Coastal Links have filed an urgent application to the Mthatha High Court in a desperate effort to get the government to supply the rural community of Centane with basic water services.

Centane has been without a consistent and reliable water supply since 2017.

The application, supported by the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) is directed at the Minister of Water and Sanitation and the Eastern Cape government. It will be heard on 28 September 2021 as a matter of urgency.

Many water-scare communities have been forced to meet their water needs through contaminated and polluted rivers and a tiny number of boreholes.

People in remote villages have to walk as far as 2km to fetch clean water.

Women are particularly vulnerable and are forced to collect water in groups in order to avoid gender-based crimes.

The residents experience a daily violation of their rights to clean water, enshrined in sections 24 and 27 of the Constitution of South Africa.

Without water, hand washing and general hygiene is compromised, setting back the battle against the Covid pandemic.

There is a duty on all spheres of government to ensure that water and sanitation services are provided in a manner that is efficient, equitable and sustainable. All spheres of government must strive to provide water supply and sanitary services sufficient for subsistence and sustainable economic activity.