Published On: Tue, Apr 12th, 2016

OUTA, AfriForum in energy, water campaigns in SA

EskomJOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) and AfriForum are mobilizing the public to ensure service delivery in South Africa.

To enable that, the two organisations have initiated programmes to get society involved in improving energy and water management in South Africa respectively.

Ted Blom, Energy Analyst and Advisor to the energy and mining industries and spokesperson for OUTA, said as the level of service delivery broke down to levels seen in other African states, it became critically important for civil society to mobilise and interrogate the reasons.

“For members of a former functioning society with service delivery working, the adoption of a civil rights activist stance can be most uncomfortable and unfamiliar, but ultimately when Government has become deaf to the needs of its citizens, there is little other alternative if one elects to remain in the country why service delivery is failing,” said Bloom.

The organisation recently lost its urgent bid in the High Court in Pretoria to interdict the electricity tariff hike.

“Unfortunately with a lost court case, but such is civil action and it will not be deterred by the technical loss of one court case.”

Meanwhile, Marcus Pawson, Head: Local Government at AfriForum, highlighted the importance of water.

“Water affects us all and every aspect of our lives and active communities can make a big difference when they act as a united group to hold government responsible and apply the ‘do it yourself’ principle to prevent pollution and preserve water,” Pawson said.

The movement currently has 170 000 members and branches in 125 cities and towns in South Africa.

Success stories include the AfriForum Blue and Green Drop Projects.

Started in 2015, it identified five towns where potable water was unsafe for human consumption.

The AfriForum Green Drop Project also revealed major infrastructure and management problems in Standerton regarding sewerage water polluting the Vaal River which flows into the Vaal Dam.

Pawson and Blom are speakers and panellists during the upcoming African Utility Week conference in Cape Town in May.

The event features 250 more expert speakers from 17-19 May.

CAJ News

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