Municipality ordered to provide water for Carolina
Mpumalanga municipal authorities were ordered by the Pretoria High Court to provide temporary water for the town of Carolina, north of Ermelo.
Today Judge Moses Mavundla granted an urgent application by the Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE) and the Sibolela Concerned Community (SCC), ordering the Gert Sibanda District Municipality to provide Carolina residents with drinkable water within 72 hours.
The municipality must provide a minimum of 25 litres of drinkable water per person per day.
The municipality’s mayor and manager were also ordered to engage with the FSE and SCC about restoring the water supply in the town.
A plan needed to be devised as to where, when and what volume of water would be provided in the interim.
The court ordered the municipality to provide it with a report within a month, detailing progress made to ensure drinkable water was supplied to Carolina.
Mavundla said the case related to residents’ basic right of access to water.
“I am of the view that, when fundamentally entrenched rights are violated or compromised… the matter intrinsically becomes urgent,” he said.
Mavundla said it was not disputed the water in the area was polluted and the municipality’s assurance that the water would be declared safe by June was in fact not the case.
Residents had been drinking polluted water since the municipal water supply was declared unfit for consumption in January.
Coal mines in the area apparently caused the pollution.