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The constitutional right to water in court, February 23-25

The South African Coalition Against Water Privatisation writes, “In its historic judgement handed down on the 30th April 2008, the Johannesburg High Court declared prepaid water meters both illegal and unconstitutional and ordered the City of Johannesburg to provide residents with 50 litres of free water per person/per day.”

The South African constitution adopted in 1996 states that, “Everyone has the right to have access to sufficient food and water.”

The Coalition notes, “Despite the judgement being celebrated by poor communities across South Africa and supported by a wide range of domestic and international unions, political parties and non-governmental organisations, Johannesburg Mayor, Amos Masondo – alongside Johannesburg Water and the Department of Water Affairs & Forestry – appealed the judgement. More recently, the National Treasury has applied to be an amicus in support of the appeal. And so, now into its sixth year, this landmark case to secure basic constitutional rights to water for all, heads to South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal.”

The appeal hearing will take place on February 23-25.

To read more about the April 2008 court decision, go to http://southafrica.indymedia.org/news/2008/04/13123.php

That article notes, “As the Centre for Applied Legal Studies stated in an earlier press release, this is the first time, ‘in which the constitutional right to water has explicitly been raised’ and the judgement itself provided meaningful and clear reasons for the orders issued.'”

The Council of Canadians’ Blue Planet Project has supported the Coalition Against Water Privatisation in this historic fight.