News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Monday May 20th 2019

Stink over Cape Town community crappers

Siyabonga Kalipa

The installation of over 1000 flushing porcelain toilets in the open air outside shacks in Khayelitsha’s Town Two, SST and Makhaza Sections have caused a political stink.

The toilets, installed three months ago at a cost of over R3-million, gleaming in stark contrast to the shacks next to which they stand.

The plan, which, according to the City was hatched in consultation with the community, was that residents would build their own enclosures around the toilets to provide privacy.
But many residents cannot afford the building materials and are left exposed to the outdoors.

As a result, ANC Youth League Secretary of the Dullah Omar region, Loyiso Nkohla, slammed the DA-led city for “disregarding” the people’s “human rights, dignity and respect”.
On Tuesday Dullah Omar Region deputy secretary Chumile Sali sent a formal letter of complaint to the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).
In the letter Sali state that “the conditions in which residents of Ward 95 are subjected into (sic) are tantamount to the worst crimes against humanity.”

The SAHRC confirmed receiving the complaint this week, and said they will be investigating the matter.

Nkohla said it was typical of the DA-run City to look after the interests of their predominantly white and coloured electorate while neglecting the needs of the black community.
“Divide and rule is what the DA are doing,” said Nkohla.
“How on earth can you build a toilet and leave it uncovered?”

Luthuli House also joined the fray on Thursday (Jan 21), supporting the youth league. In a statement released by national ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu, the ANC said: “This disregard for Africans reinforces the notion that the DA is still racial in its outlook. Are these open, dehumanising and degrading toilets what the DA will showcase during the FIFA

“It’s not a pretty picture,” said Bulelani Ngxambuza, a resident of SST Section.
“People are passing by all the time so imagine a grown man like me sitting with trousers around my ankles.”
However, Ngxambuza, who has lived in the area since 1992, is not unhappy with his toilet, pointing out that before it was installed he had no option but to use nearby bushes.
But he does admit to crossing his legs until night falls before using it. Even then, he said he is worried about criminals in the area after dark.

Mampho Ramashala, a resident of the same area, has made a partial structure around her toilet out of old ceiling boards.
“I have a young daughter who can’t relieve herself out in the open because things happen to our young daughters,” she said.

Ward councillor Lulama Jelele said the initial plan was to install one toilet for every five households, but the community had demanded a toilet for each household.
But Jelele said there had not been enough money in the budget and it was agreed that residents would build their own toilet enclosures.
She said the toilets were an interim measure because state-subsidised houses were planned for the area and the toilets would then be included inside the houses.

City of Cape Town spokesperson Jan Kruger said 1,250 toilets had been built in SST, Town Two and Makhaza, all part of Khayelitsha.
Kruger said the installations had been done after consultation with the community.
“Once the houses are built these toilets will become redundant,” he said.

Tags: ANCYL, Dullah Omar Region, Loyiso Nkohla, Makhaza, open-air toilets, SAHRC

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