South Africa: Court Orders Municipality to to Act On Long-Standing Sewage Problems


Residents of Makhanda have won another victory against the Makana municipality, with a judge ordering that officials must report to the court on progress they make in fixing a serious sewage problem in the town. The municipality consented to the order after it failed to file opposing papers. This comes after Judge Igna Stretch ruled that the municipality should be dissolved for its unconstitutional failure to provide services to residents.

The Makana municipality has been ordered to locate and fix all sewage spills in and around Makhanda and report back in detail, including on where the budget came from, to the High Court.

Judge Gerald Bloem issued the order this week after public interest litigation filed by a number of residents in Makhanda on whose properties there were ongoing sewage spills.

In January 2020, the Makhanda High Court ordered that the municipality be dissolved for its unconstitutional failure to provide municipal services to residents. Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane indicated earlier this week that he will request leave from the Supreme Court of Appeal to appeal this ruling.

In the meantime, the municipality has been given 30 days to compile a report for the court on all the sewage leaks...

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