South Africa: 'At Some Point We Need Government to Listen' - Civil Society Rallies for Access to Clean Water

Residents fetch water from a truck on Jongilanga Street, KwaNobuhle. There is more demand than water to go around.

Fourteen civil society organisations have joined forces to fight the lack of access to clean drinking water across the country, but specifically in the Eastern Cape, as the outbreak of Covid-19 infections highlighted this desperate and expensive struggle facing many communities.

"Part of what we are doing here today is to say to government: At some point we need you to listen. Recognise our voice and our struggle. Recognise that we have been resilient for so long. We are exploring litigation as a way to amplify our voice and find a short term solution... As a collective we cannot say this loud enough. This is what is in our heart," said Nontando Ngamlana, the Executive Director at Afesis-corplan, a development NGO.

Public interest and human rights organisations the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, the Centre for Environmental Rights and the Legal Resources Centre are partnering with community-based organisations such as Masifundise, Coastal Links, the South African Water Caucus, Afesis-corplan, the Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance (VEJA), Environmental Monitoring Group (EMG), COPAC, and the C19 People's Coalition in an effort aimed at ensuring that acceptable quality water is made available to the most vulnerable communities as a matter of urgency.

"We hope...

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