The significance of Mother Earth Day

No freedom without water

This month celebrates freedom but what exactly does freedom mean to you. Dictionary definitions say: Having the ability to act or change without constraint, the freedom to do things that won’t in theory or in practice, be prevented by other forces.

So if you have the ‘freedom to do things that won’t be prevented by other forces then the following lines from our Constitution make it all the more puzzling why 24 years after it was written, fresh, clean water is still not available to everyone.

Chapter 2 of the Constitution of South Africa provides that: “Everyone has the right to have access to sufficient food and water.” The purpose of this Act is to provide for the right to basic water supply and basic sanitation services.

In section 24 of the Constitution it further states: Everyone has a right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being.

But have they?

It doesn’t matter almost what province you Google and add the words water and crisis you’ll find a story, from municipalities unprepared to cope with drought or flooding to others dealing with raw sewage running down their streets and appearing through people’s floorboards. Whatever way you look at it it’s an untenable situation.

We have had promise after promise from our government but so far very little action. What should we be worried about? According to Burt Rodrigues, CEO of Biodx, “Considering that SA comes from a healthy background of revolutionary status, this should play right into our hands to claim freedom as highlighted in the South African Constitution.  Fighting for freedom of water and a healthy environment.”


The Water Services Act provides that:  Everyone has a right of access to basic water supply and sanitation services. Every water services institution must take steps to realise these rights. Every municipality must plan in its water services development plan to realise these rights.