Parliament, Thursday, 31 March 2022 - The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) delegation to Gauteng took time out of the Provincial Week programme to listen to concerns from South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) members who protested outside the Sedibeng Water Treatment Project, where the briefing by Metsi-A-Lekoa on water and sanitation infrastructure in the Emfuleni local municipality took place.

The union says the bone of contention is the appointment of Rand Water, by the Department of Water and Sanitation, as an implementing agency for Section 63 intervention in Metsi-A-Lekoa, which they reject due to alleged lack of consultation from Rand Water and failed similar interventions in the past.

Metsi-A-Lekoa is a water and sanitation agency under the Emfuleni Local Municipality.

The Chairperson invited the protesters into a round table discussion where they clarified their concerns further.

They told the NCOP delegates that their staff complement is under 60% and that Rand Water fails to provide the tools of the trade to attend to sewer spillage that ravages the community of Emfuleni.

They say Rand Water’s speciality is a provision of clean water, hence its failure to address the sewer problem.

They accused Rand Water of deploying untrained officials to supervise their work and providing insufficient security to guard the vulnerable infrastructure.

They demanded consultation from Rand Water and proper employment contracts.
They argue that their lives are at risk from community members who think they’re complacent about the sewer problem.

The NCOP Chairperson assured the workers that the NCOP will escalate their concerns to the highest relevant office in the three spheres of government.

“Your concerns are valid and the NCOP will, through its constituency leader in the area, meet the union leadership and relevant government decision makers to establish ongoing engagements”, the Chairperson committed.

During the official briefing, high ranking officials from Emfuleni Municipality corroborated the concerns of the protesters.

The NCOP is on Day Four of its weeklong high-impact Provincial Week programme which affords permanent delegates to the NCOP an opportunity to return to their provinces to assess service delivery to citizens.

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