News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Thursday September 19th 2019

Residents protest over lack of toilets


Residents of SST informal settlement in Khayelitsha burn port-a-loos on Lansdowne Road in protest over lack of proper sanitation in the settlement. Photo: WCN

Blue plastic port-a-loos were overturned and set alight on Lansdowne Road in Khayelitsha yesterday by residents of SST informal settlement who were protesting over unacceptable living conditions.

The group of about 100 protesters spilled faeces over the road and created a burning barricade that forced motorists to find alternative routes through the area.

Protestors said such action was the only way to get government to pay attention to the fact that the rights entrenched in the Constitution did not seem to apply to them as they had never received decent sanitation.

The residents said they are tired of using the bucket system and port-a-loos and demanded the City of Cape Town build proper toilets for them.

Yesterday’s protest was the second protest against the hated bucket system in the last four months. In April residents marched to the area municipality offices and dumped the porter-a-loo toilets in front of the offices.

“We’re tired of using these toilets. They are not clean and are dangerous for our health. We demand the city build us proper toilets,” said resident Mzikazi Thwani.

“We live in a wet area and land was identified for people of Town Two, but we do not know what happened to that land. We vote for nothing. We’d rather go back to the bushes than use these toilets. Government does not want to meet with us so they will get us on the road,” said Thwani.

She said residents will continue to protest until the city listened to their grievances.

Progress Youth Movement member Zama Timbela said those living in informal settlements did not benefit from the democracy that governed the rest of the country and burning tyres was the only way to ensure their needs were attended to.

Timbela said they got a negative response from City officials when they marched for proper sanitation in April.

“Residents have been told to wait but the City does not say for how long.”

Sanitation issues were also the cause of a protest by residents of France informal settlement in Khayelitsha Site B on Monday last week.

Residents emptied buckets of faeces and porter-potties (the bucket they use when they want to relieve themselves) on Lansdowne Road in protest over the bucket system.

Provincial police media liaison officer Andre Traut said protest action was monitored by police in Khayelitsha after around 100 protesting residents gathered in Town Two.

Traut said tyres were burnt and stones were thrown and stun grenades were used to disperse the crowd. No injuries were reported. – Nombulelo Damba

Tags: Andre Traut, bucket system, City of Cape Town, Khayelitsha, Lansdowne Road, Mzikazi Thwani, port-a-loo, Progress Youth Movement, SST Informal Settlement, Zama Timbela

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