Water, electricity and sanitation

Everyone has the right to a minimum basic supply of water. Your right of access to sufficient water is protected in s.27(1)(b) of the Constitution. You also have the right to ‘an environment that is not harmful to your health or wellbeing’ (s.26 (1); s. 24 (a) of the Constitution).

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Your right to adequate housing is protected in s.26 of the Constitution. Adequate housing is more than having a roof over your head. Housing should include access to basic services such as water and sanitation, a clean and healthy environment, accessible roads and transportation and access to schools, health care and other community services. 

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Health services

Your right of access to healthcare is protected in s. 27 of the Constitution. While provincial government has most of the responsibility for providing healthcare services, local government is responsible for providing primary healthcare: non-emergency services at a clinic for at least  eight hours a day, five days a week; emergency and in-patient care at a district hospital or health centre; and referral and patient transport to a provincial or tertiary hospital. 

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Basic education

Section 29(1) of the Constitution says that 'everyone has the right to a basic education, including adult basic education'. Basic education means schools where it is possible to learn and acquire knowledge in an environment that encourages learning. 

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Metsi, motlakase le bohlweki

Motho e mong le e mong o na le tokelo ya phepelo ya metsi ya motheo. Tokelo ya hao ya ho fumantshwa metsi a lekaneng e sireleditswe karolong ya 27(1)(b) ya Molao wa Motheo. Hape o na le tokelo ya ‘tikoloho e seng kotsi bophelong ba hao’ (karolo ya 26 (1); karolo ya 24 (a) ya Molao wa Motheo).

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Local Government Action

You have a right under the Constitution to a local government that works, which provides basic services and promotes social and economic development. You have a right under the Constitution to a democratic and accountable local government. But local government is failing to deliver the services we have a right to receive.

Local Government Action aims to help you:

  • understand local government and what it should be doing for every community
  • monitor (or keep track of) what local government is doing
  • find out what to do when local government ignores the community or breaks the rules
  • take action to enforce your rights to water, sanitation, electricity, housing, and health
  • find organisations that can help you.

Use the Activist's Guide menu to select the section relevant to you and to find the information you are looking for.

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Jan 2016
Nelspruit township goes weeks without water
As the country continues to weather a severe drought, parts of Nelspruit’s KaBokweni townships have been without water for three weeks after government departments scrambled to secure the water supplies of Themba Hospital and the local clinic.
Read more here
Nov 2015
'Every time I need the toilet, I have to crawl to the nearby bushes'
Imagine if you had to crawl outside on your hands and knees to use the toilet. For some South Africans living with disabilities, these indignities are part of their normal life.
Read more here