On 19 January 2021 Masifundise, the Center for Environmental Rights and the water stressed community of Centane, in ward 28 of the Mnquma Local Municipality, will once again return to court to hear the outcomes of their urgent application that was filed on 6 September 2021 regarding the rural community’s water needs.

The Centane community has been without sustainable potable water for the last 6 years. The residents have continued to experience a daily violation of their guaranteed water rights as enshrined in sections 24 and 27 of the Constitution of South Africa. They continue to face a denial of their inalienable right to water.

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Nkosazana Zuma and the Premier of the Eastern Cape Oscar Mabuyane have been ordered by the court to provide reasoning for their failure to compile with the courts two outstanding draft orders. In these orders that were handed down on 12 October and 12 November 2021 COGTA and the Premier were directed to provide immediate plans on their steps to provide potable water to residents of this municipality.

In the hearing the Judge Nhlangulela noted that COGTA and the Premier of the Eastern Cape have once again failed to provide the court ordered affidavits and their legal representatives failed to appear at the court hearing.

The Judge has since ordered that these two parties file their affidavits urgently and show why they should not be held in contempt of court for their previous inaction.

“It is very disturbing to have COGTA and the Premier repeatedly ignore the courts’ orders. This is delay means that Ward 28 will have to wait that much longer to receive the water that they desperately need. Prolonging a community’s access to water is a gross violation of their basic rights”, said Naseegh Jaffer Director of Masifundise.

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