The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) welcomes the introduction of a Draft National Sanitation Policy gazetted by Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane on 12 February 2016, and currently open for comments until 14 March 2016. The SJC is engaging the department on the policy and we will be publishing our full submission in the coming weeks.
To date there has been no single, substantive policy regulating sanitation provision in South Africa, leaving implementation haphazard and without basic standards. Over several years, the SJC has led a campaign for clean and safe sanitation in informal settlements. We have also engaged with and presented our recommendations and research on sanitation in informal settlements to amongst others, the National Department of Human Settlements, The National Ministerial Sanitation Task team, the South Africa Human Rights Commission, the South African Local Government Association, The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the Public Protector, National Treasury, and the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
The Draft National Policy is now a major step forward. It has the potential – with appropriate revisions and proper implementation of a final policy – to improve access to sanitation for poor and working class people and provide mechanisms through which municipalities can be held accountable for that provision.
Access to clean, safe and dignified sanitation facilities for all is one of the most basic rights. It is not a luxury. The continued violation of this right is one of Apartheid’s greatest legacies and today’s most difficult challenges. We encourage communities and relevant stakeholders to make submissions and to ensure that the policy ultimately adopted is appropriate, and has the impact so urgently needed.
The draft policy is available here: https://www.dwa.gov.za/Documents/SP.aspx
For comment please contact Axolile Notywala 074 386 1584