Ensuring access to clean water, a basic human right

Promoting responsible drinking on human rights
March 19, 2024
ANC warns of threat to free and fair elections if MK remains on ballot
March 19, 2024
Promoting responsible drinking on human rights
March 19, 2024
ANC warns of threat to free and fair elections if MK remains on ballot
March 19, 2024

Ensuring access to clean water, a basic human right

As South Africa commemorates Human Rights Day, reflecting on the progress made in
advancing human rights and recommitting to the ongoing struggle against discrimination, the
issue of access to clean water remains a crucial challenge, particularly in rural and
economically disadvantaged communities.

While access to clean water is recognized as a fundamental human right in South Africa,
enshrined in the Constitution and affirmed by various legal instruments and international
agreements, numerous obstacles persist. Factors such as insufficient infrastructure, water
pollution, and aging infrastructure contribute to ongoing issues with access to clean water,
especially in rural areas.

In an effort to address this challenge, Trans African Concessions (TRAC), a company
operating along the N4 route, has made a conscious decision to make a meaningful impact
in communities where it operates, particularly in regard to access to clean water for school
learners from rural communities.

In 2017, TRAC adopted Thanda Primary School in Nkomazi, investing an impressive R6
million towards infrastructure refurbishment, transforming it into a well-resourced centre
complete with ablution facilities and a supply of clean water. This is in addition to other
world-class facilities aimed at ensuring that the 800 learners enrolled receive quality
education.

Adri Fourie, TRAC’s Executive Manager for Human Resources and Corporate Social
Investment, emphasized the company’s commitment to improving the quality of school
facilities in under-resourced communities while also ensuring that learners enjoy basic
human rights such as access to clean water.

“Access to clean and safe water significantly enhances the quality of learning at poor
schools by addressing fundamental health and hygiene needs,” Fourie said. “Reliable
access to clean water ensures that students remain hydrated, reducing fatigue and
improving cognitive function, thereby enhancing their ability to focus and concentrate in
class.”

Fourie further highlighted the importance of proper sanitation facilities in promoting good
hygiene practices and preventing waterborne illnesses that often lead to absenteeism
among students and teachers, ultimately impacting academic performance and overall
educational outcomes.

TRAC’s efforts at Thanda Primary School have not only benefited the learners but also had
a profound effect on the community in terms of skills and enterprise development, with the
project resulting in the employment of skilled and unskilled labour from the local area.

As South Africa celebrates Human Rights Day, initiatives like TRAC’s demonstrate the
importance of ensuring access to clean water for all South Africans, particularly in rural and
poor communities, as not only a legal obligation but also a moral imperative.