SAHRC promises to look into Glynnis Breytenbach's 'problem'

DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach has urged the SA Human Rights Commission to look into "government failures" such as water shortages.
DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach has urged the SA Human Rights Commission to look into "government failures" such as water shortages.
Image: Thulani Mbele

The SA Human Rights Commission  (SAHRC) said on Wednesday that it would respond to complaints by DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach that the commission was not fulfilling its role.

In an opinion piece titled "The problem with the SAHRC", Breytenbach claimed the commission’s sensation-seeking in prominent cases came at the expense of a crucial component of its mandate, which had been almost entirely neglected.

“This role is to monitor and advise government on the implementation of socio-economic rights countrywide, especially those where government failures violate basic human rights,” said Breytenbach.

She said that although the commission was at the forefront in investigating the drowning of Parktown Boys' High pupil Enock Mpianzi, she questioned whether the commission had investigated the lack of water in areas like QwaQwa.

“Access to water is a basic human right. So it is legitimate to ask what the SAHRC has been doing about the violation of this right countrywide,” she said.

The commission on Wednesday said it would engage the chairperson of parliament's portfolio committee on justice and correctional services, of which Breytenbach is a member, on her observations.

“The commission however stresses that it has been actively doing its work independently, without fear or favour, in terms of its constitutional mandate as set out in chapter 9 of the constitution - protecting, promoting and monitoring the attainment of the human rights as set out in … the constitution,” it said.


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