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The role of local government in realising the right to sanitation Allison Geduld North-West University (Potchefstroom)

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Presentation on theme: "The role of local government in realising the right to sanitation Allison Geduld North-West University (Potchefstroom)"— Presentation transcript:

1 The role of local government in realising the right to sanitation Allison Geduld North-West University (Potchefstroom)

2 Cloacina – Goddess of the sewers

3 Outline  Introduction  Consequences of the failure to provide sanitation services  Whose duty is it?  Legal Framework  Beja case  Conclusion

4 Introduction  Basic sanitation is a basic municipal service  Great strides have been made in improving access to sanitation since 1994  Although many people have access to sanitation facilities challenges exist wrt surrounding issues

5 Consequences of failure to provide sanitation services  Sanitation-related diseases cost millions of rands to treat annually  Diarrhoea is currently the third highest cause of death for infants  A lack of sanitation could lead to an uncontrollable outbreak of disease

6 Whose duty is it?  Schedule 4B of the Constitution  Structures Act  Co-operative government

7 Legal Framework  No express constitutional right but a constitutional right can be inferred (water, housing, environment, dignity and privacy)  Section 3 of the Water Services Act  Section 7(2) of the Constitution  This right should be understood against the backdrop of developmental local government (Section 153 of the Constitution)

8  Regulation 2 of the Regulations Relating to Compulsory National Standards and Measures to Conserve Water in terms of Government notice R509 of 8 June 2001  states:  “The minimum standard for basic sanitation services is-  (a) The provision of appropriate health and hygiene education; and (b) A toilet which is safe, reliable, environmentally sound, easy to clean, provides privacy and protection against the weather, well ventilated, keeps smells to a minimum and prevents the entry and exit of flies and other disease-carrying pests.”

9 Urban and rural perspectives  Urban and rural municipalities might have different needs and features  Dry sanitation vs Waterborne?  Location

10 Beja and Another v Premier of the Western Cape  Facts  Was the agreement between the community and the municipality valid?

11 Beja and Another v Premier of the Western Cape  Emphasised the role of public participation and recognition of local communities in decision-making  Requirements for when agreements are made between municipality and community about socio-economic rights  The realisation of the right to sanitation is not just about distribution of resources

12 Requirements for agreements between municipality and local community  (i) it must be concluded with duly authorised representatives of the community  (ii) it must be concluded with meetings held with adequate notice for those representatives to get a proper mandate from their constituencies  (iii) it must be properly minuted and publicised  (iv) it must be preceded by some process of information sharing and where necessary technical support so that the community is properly assisted.  Must take into account the vulnerable.

13 Conclusion  Basic sanitation is a basic municipal service and constitutional right  It is about more than the distribution of resources  Public participation plays an important role  Differences between urban and rural municipalities

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