The State Will Always Set the Rules in Its Favor
Johan Smit wrote an opinion piece in which he highlighted the double standards of treatment in situations where the private sector was treated more harshly than the state when both parties committed similar offenses. To prove his point he referenced the Jagersfontein dam collapse and the Emfuleni Local Municipality’s chronic pollution of the Vaal River.
In the former example, the Department of Water and Sanitation’s (DWS) minister David Mahlobo stated that he would lay criminal charges against the owners of the Jagersfontein dam after its collapse. It should be noted that many compliance irregularities were found in the audits of the dam which were conducted prior to its collapse.
In the latter example, a report compiled by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) found that Emfuleni and others were the cause of the chronic sewage pollution of the Vaal River. However, in the case of Emfuleni, it appears that no action was taken despite the report.
According to Smit, such is the case because of section 139 of the South African constitution where it allows for the effective absolution of responsibility from municipalities by means of either provincial or national government taking over the responsibilities of a local municipality when the local municipality cannot fulfill its duties. Smit summarized his opinion piece in the following manner:
From Jagersfontein to UPL’s Cornubia and failing municipal sewerage systems, South Africa’s water disasters continue to mount. The Department of Water and S
Article from Mises Wire