A fight for right to free water in South Africa

 
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Residents of Phiri--one of the poorest townships in South Africa -- have filed a lawsuit against Johannesburg municipality's multimillion-dollar prepaid water system.

The system is in violation of the residents' right to free water, they say. The residents have appealed to the court to order the municipal authorities to provide at least 50 litres of free water per person a day--double what they currently receive. They also want to follow an old water delivery system, in which unlimited water is available for a flat fee. Posh areas of Johannesburg still follow the old water delivery system.

Johannesburg Water, the utility owned by the Johannesburg municipality, started installing prepaid water meters in Phiri, part of Soweto, in 2003. Arguments over whether the move is constitutional or not have been going on since then.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.