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The DA in Phalabowa has written to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to urgently investigate the looming service delivery crisis.
Phalaborwa is currently facing a severe heatwave, with temperatures soaring above 40°C. This extreme weather has intensified the breakdown of crucial services, including water and electricity.
The severe shortage of water supply in Ba-Phalaborwa is exacerbated by challenges faced by Lepelle Northern Water, increasing community demands, coupled with pump breakdowns and water pipeline leaks which was evident during the fire incident on 16 September 2023, when inadequate water pressure hindered firefighting efforts.
Currently, some areas are experiencing up to 8 days without water, adding to the community's burdens.
Years of neglect and inadequate infrastructure have resulted in a significant failure in the electricity grid. The situation is worsened by a labour dispute among electricity department officials, leading to up to 3 days of power outage. Currently only the intervention by external stakeholders is keeping the grid intact.
Raw sewage has been flowing through the streets for an extended period, posing significant health and environmental risks. The discharge of raw sewage into the Olifants River, passing through the Kruger National Park and into Mozambique, is causing massive groundwater and environmental pollution, leading to the death of fish.
The excuse of having only one refuse removal truck in service is unacceptable, indicative of a broader maintenance problem. Refuse removal now occurs irregularly, contributing to unhygienic situations and health issues in some areas.
The untenable collapse in service delivery is on-going despite residents diligently paying for essential services.
Urgent intervention is needed to save lives and the economy of Phalaborwa.
We have also introduced a petition to replace unproductive ANC officials and mitigate the impact of infighting between the ANC cadres in Mopani District and Phalaborwa Local municipalities.
The DA urges residents to support initiatives aimed at remedying this intolerable situation.
Issued by Sybrand De Beer - DA Councillor- Ba-Phalaborwa Local Municipality