South Africa – Protests over one ‘VIP’ toilet per 10 families
One ‘VIP’ toilet per 10 families, 23 September 2009
DESPITE a South Gauteng court challenge that was taken to the Constitutional Court, Ekurhuleni Metroinsists that one chemical toilet per 10 families is all it can afford.
This week Constitutional Court judges described the initiative as “pathetic”. The council has appealed to communities to be patient, pleading financial constraints.
Residents of Harry Gwala informal settlement near Wattville, Ekurhuleni, went to the court in a bid to force the municipality to provide one ventilation improved pit toilet per household.
“The project commenced in May with investigations of health hazards in informal settlements and the provision of the toilets will soon get under way,” Metro spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said. “The project is expected in Harry Gwala informal settlement next month,”
But residents Thembeka Mendu and Nobesotho Mthshubungu said: “We are against the idea of sharing a toilet with nine families. This is what is making us sick. Having to get out of the yard to use the toilet at night is also not safe.”
An amount of R100million has been budgeted for this year. A total of 1000 families will benefit from the project.
“We know the difficulties faced by people living in informal areas but things cannot happen overnight, especially if one looks at the finances required ,” Dlamini said.
He said the rolling out of high mast lights is also on the cards.
“Plans are in place to provide access roads and waste removal services to all informal settlements in Ekurhuleni,” Dlamini said.
He said the only risk to the projects was the uncertain future of informal settlements.