Indonesia: Court annuls water privatisation contracts of Suez & Aetra over negligence in providing access to water for Jakarta residents
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Author: Geert De Clerck, Reuters
France's Suez…will fight a court decision that annulled its Jakarta drinking water concession and has blamed water problems in the Indonesian capital on lack of investment and frozen tariffs...Marie-Ange Debon, head of international operations at Suez, said the…contract has not been suspended by the court…because the companies will appeal."…[W]e will appeal in the first instance and at a higher level if necessary. The story is far from over," she said…Losing the Jakarta contract, which accounts for about a sixth of Suez's Asia revenue, means losing a foothold in one of South-East Asia's biggest countries...[Debon] said lack of investment made it harder for water companies to meet targets for reducing leakage and boosting connections. [She] said the citizens' group lawsuit targeted not only the water firms but also the Indonesian authorities. "It is a court action against private operator participation in general," she said. [Also refers to Veolia]
Author: Public Services International
The Central Jakarta District Court on 24 March annulled the water privatisation contracts of Suez...and Aetra, finding that the Public-Private Partnerships were negligent in fulfilling the human right to water for Jakarta’s residents. The court decision is the culmination of many years of resistance by a broad coalition of Jakarta residents, trade unions, and other water justice activists. Rosa Pavanelli, General Secretary of the global trade union federation Public Services International says: “[The]...decision is a success for the Jakarta citizens and workers, but also for the global water movement. It is further proof of the misguided and myopic World Bank and Asian Development Bank privatization strategies, which are not only unwelcome, but are illegal. We call on the World Bank and the ADB to immediately cease-and-desist all of their privatization initiatives in the water and sanitation sector..." The Central Jakarta District Court decision is coherent with the Indonesian Constitutional Court ruling of 20 February 2015, which annulled Law...on Water Resources passed by the Indonesian government, again under pressure from the World Bank. The ruling was made on the grounds that water resources have to be controlled and allocated for the public benefit, thus private companies cannot monopolize rights over water sources.
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