Water, Human Rights and Social Conflict: South African Experiences



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19 June 2007; Polaris Institute (2003) Global Water Grab: How Corporations Are Planning to Take Control of Local Water Services (Polaris Institute: Ottawa); Public Citizen (2003a) The Evian Challenge: A Civil Society Call for the EU to Withdraw Its GATS Water Requests (Public Citizen: Washington); Public Citizen (2003b) Water Privatization Fiascos: Broken Promises and Social Turmoil (Public Citizen: Washington); Shiva, V (2002) Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution, and Profit (New Delhi: India Research Press); Transnational Institute (2005) Reclaiming Public Water (Amsterdam); General Comment No. 15; Water for All Newsletter (2000-present), Defend the Global Commons newsletter.

21 The Economist (2003) ‘Survey of Water’, 19 July 2003.

22 World Bank (1996) Technical Paper 331: Africa Water Resources (World Bank: Washington, D.C.), p. ix.

23 The Kampala Statement was drafted at the World Bank but attempted to speak for ‘a total of 270 participants drawn from government, the utilities (including the private sector), financial institutions, external support agencies, and civil society ...’ Quotations are from the final E-mail version sent from the Bank on 14 March, 2001.

24 World Bank (2000) Sourcebook on Community Driven Development in the Africa Region Community Action Programs (World Bank: Washington, D.C.), Annex 2.

25 Grusky, S (2001) ‘IMF Makes Water Privatisation Condition of Financial Support’, PSIRU Update <http://www.psiru.org> Accessed on 5th February 2008.

26 The latter was chaired by former IMF managing director Michel Camdessus during 2002-03, with major multilateral development banks, Citibank, Lazard Freres, the US Ex-Im Bank, private water companies (Suez, Thames Water), state elites (from Egypt, France, Ivory Coast, Mexico, and Pakistan) and two Non Governmental Organisations (Transparency International and WaterAid). It proposed much greater amounts of public subsidies for privatisers, via a risk insurance mechanism to safeguard companies like Suez against currency crises which devastated the firm’s Argentina operations after 2001.

27 New York Times, 22 March 1998.

28 Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) (1994), Water Supply and Sanitation White Paper, (Government Printer: Cape Town).

29 In 1994, ‘more than 12 million people [did] not have access to clean drinking water and 21 million people do not have adequate sanitation’, according to the African National Congress (1994) Reconstruction and Development Programme: A Policy Framework (RDP) (Johannesburg: Umanyano Publications), p 28.

30 African National Congress (1994) Reconstruction and Development Programme: A Policy Framework (RDP), p 29.

31 African National Congress (1994) Reconstruction and Development Programme: A Policy Framework (RDP), p 30.

32 Asmal, K (1998) ‘Policy Directions of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry’, Letter to Bond, P (Pretoria) 8 May 1998.

33 Bond, P. (2002), Unsustainable South Africa: Environment, Development and Social Protest, (London: Merlin Press).

34 Roome, J (1995) ‘Water Pricing and Management: World Bank Presentation’, SA Water Conservation Conference, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2 October 1995.

35 World Bank (1999) Country Assistance Strategy: South Africa (World Bank: Washington, D.C.), Appendix 2.

36 See for example section 74 of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000, which stipulates in s. 74(2)(c): ‘poor households must have access to at least basic services [water, electricity, sanitation, refuse] through – (ii) special tariffs or life line tariffs for low levels of use or consumption of services or for basic levels of service; or (iii) any other direct or indirect method of subsidization of tariffs for poor houesholds’.

Mail & Guardian, 22 November 1996.

37 Department of Health (1999) Health Sector Strategic Framework, 1999-2004 (Department of Health: Pretoria).

38 Muller, ‘Turning on the Taps’. For a lengthier study, see McDonald, D and Pape, J (eds) (2002), Cost Recovery and the Crisis of Service Delivery in South Africa, (London: Zed Books).

39 Sunday Times, 9 October 2000.

Business Day, 11 February 2000.

40 According to Karen Brits, the Director of Legal & Compliance of the City of Johannesburg, the FBW promise was first announced in an address by President Thabo Mbeki to the COSATU 7th National Congress on 19 September 2000 and was later discussed ‘at a parliamentary media briefing on 19 September 2000 by Minister Ronnie Kasrils’ and then ‘first used as part of the party’s election manifesto in Beaufort West by President Mbeki on 8 October 2000’ (answering affidavit of Karen Brits, Case no. 06/13865 Mazibuko & Others v City of Johannesburg & Others at para 30.25). This case, which we refer to as the Phiri water rights case, is being defended by CALS and all the legal papers, including Ms Brits’s affidavit (called CoJ answering affidavit on the website), are available on the CALS website: .

41 In our view, it is reasonable to surmise that seven years (the RDP was published in 1994) represents the medium, rather than the short-term.

42 Answering affidavit of Barbara Gay Schreiner, (former) Deputy Director-General in Policy and Regulations, DWAF, Case no. 06/13865 Mazibuko & Others v City of Johannesburg & Others at para 114: https://www.law.wits.ac.za/cals (called DWAF answering affidavit on the website).

43 Answering affidavit of Neil Alastair Macleod, Head: Water and Sanitation of the eThekwini Municipality (formerly Durban Metropolitan Municipality), Case no. 06/13865 Mazibuko & Others v City of Johannesburg & Others at para 12: .

44 Bartram, J and Howard, G (2003), ‘Domestic water quantity, service level and health: what should be the goal for water and health sectors’, WHO .

45 Gleick points out that his calculation of 20 lcd for sanitation is a very bare minimum that does not cover in-house sanitation using wasteful high-flush toilets (typical in South African townships and other poor localities) and that such contexts, much more water is required for sanitation.

46. Gleick, P (1996) ‘Basic Water Requirements for Human Activities: Meeting Basic Needs’, Water International 21, pp 83-92.

47. General Comment No. 15, para 12 with reference to footnote 14.

48. Section 27(1)(b) of the Constitution.

: . Bailey, R and Buckley, C (2005), ‘Modelling Domestic Water Tariffs’, Presentation to the University of KwaZulu-Natal Centre for Civil Society (Durban) 7 November 2005.

49. Kasrils, R (2002) ‘Concerned about water supply and sanitation... concerned about free basic water and water cut-offs?’, Advertisement, Sunday Independent, 8 December 2002.

50. Kasrils, R (2003) ‘Report on Water Cut-offs a Case of Sour Grapes among US Populists’, Sunday Independent, 8 June 2003.

51. Bakker, K (forthcoming), ‘The ‘Commons’ versus the ‘Commodity’: Alter-globalization, anti-privatization and the human right to water in the global South’.

52. Tushnet, M. (1984), ‘An Essay on Rights’, Texas Law Review, 62, pp. 1363-1403; Kennedy, D (no date) ‘The Critique of Rights in Critical Legal Studies’. http://duncankennedy.net/documents/The%20Critique%20of%20Rights%20in%20cls.pdf Accessed on 5th February 2008.

53. Baxi, ‘The Place of the Human Right to Health and Contemporary Approaches to Global Justice’.

54. From the struggles have emerged inspiring leaders, intellectuals and politicians, including Accra campaigners Rudolf Amenga-Etego (who was awarded the 2004 Goldman environmental prize) and Alhassan Adam, Canadians Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke (who won the 2005 Right Livelihood Award) and writer Varda Burstein, Paris-based Danielle Mitterrand, Cochabamba movement leader Oscar Olivera, Washington-based water watchdogs Maj Fiil-Flynn and Sara Grusky, Olivier Hoedeman and Satoko Kishimoto of ‘Reclaiming Public Water’ at the Transnational Institute, filmmakers Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman, European campaigner Ricardo Petrello, anti-dam strategists Paddy McCully and Lori Pottinger, and extraordinary Indian activists like Sunita Narrain, Medha Patkar, Arundhati Roy, Vandana Shiva and Shiney Varghese. South Africans who are well-known internationally include Bryan Ashe and Lianne Greef of the South African Water Caucus, Dale McKinley of the national Campaign Against Water Privatisation, researchers Ebrahim Harvey and Anil Naidoo (based in Ottawa), trade unionist Roger Ronnie, and Sowetans Trevor Ngwane and Virginia Setshedi.

55. Stevenson, M (2006) ‘Protesters Say Water Wars Turning Deadly’, Associated Press, 17 March 2006.

56. Statistics South Africa (2002), ‘Database on Expenditure and Income, 2000’ (Pretoria: Statistics South Africa).

57. Baxi, U (1998) ‘Voices of Suffering and the Future of Human Rights’, p.135 and p.141.

58. Baxi, U (1998) ‘Voices of Suffering and the Future of Human Rights’, pp.126-127, p.151.

References


African National Congress (1994) Reconstruction and Development Programme: A Policy Framework (RDP) (Johannesburg: Umanyano Publications)
Bailey, R and Buckley, C (2005), ‘Modelling Domestic Water Tariffs’, Presentation to the University of KwaZulu-Natal Centre for Civil Society (Durban) 7 November 2005.
Bakker, K (forthcoming), ‘The ‘Commons’ versus the ‘Commodity’: Alter-globalization, anti-privatization and the human right to water in the global South’, Antipode.
Barlow, M and Clarke, T (2002) Blue Gold: the Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World’s Water (New York: The New Press).
Bartram, J and Howard, G (2003) ‘Domestic water quantity, service level and health: what should be the goal for water and health sectors’, WHO <http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health> Accessed on 5th February 2008.
Baxi, U (1998) ‘Voices of Suffering and the Future of Human Rights’, Transnational Legal & Contemporary Problems 8, pp 125-169.
Baxi, U (2001) ‘What Happens next is Up to You: Human Rights at Risk in Dams and Development’, American University International Law Review 16, pp 1507–1529.
Baxi, U (2007) ‘The Place of the Human Right to Health and Contemporary Approaches to Global Justice: Some Impertinent Interrogations’, University of Liverpool Law School Conference on Global Health and Human Rights: Theoretical Perspectives, April 19-20.
Bond, P. (2002), Unsustainable South Africa: Environment, Development and Social Protest, London, Merlin Press.
Bond, P (2006) ‘Reconciliation and Economic Reaction: Flaws in South Africa’s Elite Transition’, Journal of International Affairs 60(1), pp 141-156.
Department of Health (1999) Health Sector Strategic Framework, 1999-2004 (Department of Health: Pretoria).
Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) (1994), Water Supply and Sanitation White Paper, (Government Printer: Cape Town).
Dugard, J (2006) ‘Court of First Instance? Towards a Pro-poor Jurisdiction for the South African Constitutional Court’, South African Journal on Human Rights 22, pp 261 - 282.
The Economist (2003) ‘Survey of Water’, 19 July 2003.
Friends of the Earth International (2003) Water Justice for All: Global and Local Resistance to the Control and Commodification of Water (Amsterdam: Friends of the Earth International).
Gargarella, R, Domingo, P and Roux, T (eds) (2006) Courts and Social Transformation in New Democracies: An Institutional Voice for the Poor? (London: Ashgate).
Gleick, P (1996) ‘Basic Water Requirements for Human Activities: Meeting Basic Needs’, Water International 21, pp 83-92.
Gleick, P (1998) ‘The Human Right to Water’, Water Policy 1, pp 487-503.
Grusky, S (2001) ‘IMF Makes Water Privatisation Condition of Financial Support’, PSIRU Update <http://www.psiru.org> Accessed on 5th February 2008.
Grusky, S and Fiil-Flynn, M (2004) Will the World Bank Back Down? Water Privatisation in a Climate of Global Protest (Washington, D.C.: Public Citizen).
Hemson, D (2003) ‘Rural Poor Play a Role in Water Projects’, Business Day, 1 July 2003.
Kasrils, R (2002) ‘Concerned about water supply and sanitation... concerned about free basic water and water cut-offs?’, Advertisement, Sunday Independent, 8 December 2002.
Kasrils, R (2003) ‘Report on Water Cut-offs a Case of Sour Grapes among US Populists’, Sunday Independent, 8 June 2003.
Kennedy, D (no date.), ‘The Critique of Rights in Critical Legal Studies’. http://duncankennedy.net/documents/The%20Critique%20of%20Rights%20in%20cls.pdf Accessed on 5th February 2008.
Krog, A (1997) ‘Preamble: Water in our lives’, in Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) White Paper on A National Water Policy for South Africa <http://www.dwaf.gov.za/Documents/Policies/nwpwp.pdf> accessed on 5th February 2008.
McDonald, D and Pape, J (eds) (2002), Cost Recovery and the Crisis of Service Delivery in South Africa, (London: Zed Books).
McDonald, D and Ruiters, G (2005) The Age of Commodity: Water Privatisation in Southern Africa (London: Earthscan).
Muller, M (2004) ‘Turning on the Taps’, Mail and Guardian, 25 June 2004.
People’s World Water Forum (2004) ‘Declaration of the People’s World Water Movement Accessed on 19 June 2007.
Petrella, R (2001) The Water Manifesto: Arguments for a World Water Contract (London: Zed Books).
Polaris Institute (2003) Global Water Grab: How Corporations Are Planning to Take Control of Local Water Services (Polaris Institute: Ottawa).
Public Citizen (2003a) The Evian Challenge: A Civil Society Call for the EU to Withdraw Its GATS Water Requests (Public Citizen: Washington).
Public Citizen (2003b) Water Privatization Fiascos: Broken Promises and Social Turmoil (Public Citizen: Washington).
Roome, J (1995) ‘Water Pricing and Management: World Bank Presentation’, SA Water Conservation Conference, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2 October 1995.
Shiva, V (2002) Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution, and Profit (New Delhi: India Research Press).
Statistics South Africa (2002), ‘Database on Expenditure and Income, 2000’ (Pretoria: Statistics South Africa).
Stevenson, M (2006) ‘Protesters Say Water Wars Turning Deadly’, Associated Press, 17 March 2006.
Transnational Institute (2005) Reclaiming Public Water (Transnational Institute: Amsterdam).
Tushnet, M. (1984), ‘An Essay on Rights’, Texas Law Review 62, pp. 1363-1403.
United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2002) General Comment No. 15: The Right to Water (New York, United Nations).
World Bank (1996) Technical Paper 331: Africa Water Resources (World Bank: Washington, D.C.).
World Bank (1999) Country Assistance Strategy: South Africa (World Bank: Washington, D.C.)
World Bank (2000) Sourcebook on Community Driven Development in the Africa Region Community Action Programs (World Bank: Washington, D.C.)
Cases:
Ex parte Chairperson of the Constitutional Assembly: In re Certification of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 1996 (4) SA 744 (CC),
Government of the Republic of South Africa v Grootboom 2001 (1) SA 46 (CC)
Khosa v Minister of Social Development 2004 (6) BCLR 569 (CC)
Mazibuko & Others v City of Johannesburg & Others Case no. 06/13865
Minister of Health v Treatment Action Campaign (No. 2) 2002 (5) SA 721 (CC)
Port Elizabeth Municipality v Various Occupiers 2004 (12) BCLR 1268 (CC)
Soobramoney v Minister of Health (KwaZulu-Natal) 1998 (1) SA 765 (CC)
Legislation:
Local Government: Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000
National Water Act 36 of 1998
Norms and Standards In Respect of Tariffs for Water Services in Terms of Section 10(1) of the Water Services Act 108 of 1997 (2001)
Water Services Act 108 of 1997
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