COSATU Free State update on the water crisis in Maluti-A-Phofung

COSATU Free State would like to update members in relation to the water crisis in Maluti A Phofung with the following issues:

A meeting of stakeholders took place on 29 January 2020 to put in place a multi-stakeholder forum that would oversee the process of resolving the current water crisis within the Municipality. 

The first meeting of the stakeholder forum will take place on 04 February 2020 and look into the process of ushering in a permanent solution to the water crisis.

It was agreed that after the meeting all members who have information on how the problem of water can be minimized with immediate effect would go along with the Senior Management of MAP Water to all the areas that are suspected to have been tampered with or which needs minor attention to get the water flowing and those would be dealt with immediately.

The state-owned water tankers would immediately prioritize the schools, hospitals and the community at large. We reject the use of private water tankers to deliver water for the community, no outsourcing, privatization or any other fancy name. This is a temporary measure and should be for a very limited period of time!

The steering committee will draft a schedule of the times when water tankers would be delivering where so that we avoid the situation of people waiting the whole week in the scorching heat of the sun for tankers that would not arrive.

The water tankers would make sure that water is not only provided during working hours, they should also provide water after working hours so that workers may also access water. This should be included in the schedule that would be drafted so that our members know when to expect water tankers in their area

The federation is currently working on the following issues as part of the way forward:

i. A Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 Section 77 notice will be filed with NEDLAC with immediate effect so that we can pave a way for a protected strike that will ensure that our member’s interests are protected whilst we pursue the struggles of our members and the community at large.

ii. We will be sending a letter to the Department of Labour to assist in inspecting the workplaces and giving assurance that workplaces are safe for workers to continue working and to identify all hazards which employers may need to deal with immediately.

iii. We will be briefing our legal department so that we can obtain legal opinion which will pave a way for us to litigate against the non-provision of water, electricity and services to our members both as workers and as community members.

iv. The Minister of Higher Education should be engaged as a matter of urgency for the extension of the registration process for all the higher education institutions within Maluti A Phofung so that when the matter of water is resolved our children would still have time to register and further their studies for a better future

COSATU Free State hereby urges all the members and shopstewards to do the following:

a) Observe the availability of water in their workplaces and report the situation on a daily basis to the Unions structures which will in turn report to the COSATU Water Crises War Room set up at Naledi Mall to receive and process all the reports and intervene immediately.

b) Observe the availability of water tankers in their areas of residence after working hours and report such through their union structures which should, in turn, reach the War Room for immediate action.

c) To report all employers who are threatening and harassing workers for the periods they were not able to go to work immediately and however minute the threats may seem to their Union for the immediate and commensurate response!

COSATU Free State will continue the campaign to ensure that water is available at our homes as well as in our public places and workplaces so that the physiological and hygienic needs of our members and communities are catered for. We also know for the fact that water is not the only problem in Maluti A Phofung in that supply of reliable electricity is also in the same category our struggle is intended to deal with that matter as well but the pressing matter is water right now!

We would like to acknowledge the community of Maluti A Phofung our members included as they are part of the community for standing up for their rights and making their voices heard. 

Indeed water is life and access to it should be unhindered at all times!

The struggle continues

Issued by COSATU Free State

Monyatso oa Mahlatsi

COSATU Free State Provincial Secretary 

Enquiries : 051 447 5499/ 010 219 1373 or 076 115 9923