Cape Town -
Dumping human faeces in public areas is a thing of the past, say leaders of the Ses’khona People’s Rights Movement, which has instead embarked on a fresh campaign to highlight poor sanitation in Cape Town’s informal settlements.
Under the new campaign, members of the movement are carrying empty porta potties on their visits to residents in Constantia, Bishopscourt, Table View, Camps Bay and Wynberg.
Residents are being asked what they think of porta potties being used in poor areas.
Over the last few days, Ses’khona members have already visited residents in Bishopscourt and Constantia.
“It was never nice dumping the waste,” said Ses’khona leader and ANC councillor Loyiso Nkohla, who previously spearheaded poo-throwing campaigns at Cape Town International Airport and on the steps of the provincial legislature.
“Even the process of carrying and throwing it. We were never meant to be a group of hooligans,” Nkhola said, adding that the organisation aimed to “improve its public image”.
On Monday, Ses’khona activists were given the cold shoulder by residents in Constantia during their door-to-door campaign.
They tried to engage residents and challenged them to use the potties for a week.
The activists said they wanted to document the opinions of residents of Constantia regarding sanitation.
Results of the survey would be part of a memorandum they planned to present to Western Cape Premier Helen Zille.
They said only one resident had been willing to participate.
Nkhola said the campaign would not end after Wednesday’s elections, but would continue until the issue of porta potties had been eradicated in the province.
Verdiana Magerman, co-organiser of the campaign in Bishopscourt on Wednesday, said residents of Wynberg would be approached on Monday and residents of Camps Bay on Tuesday.
Seven activists carrying porta potties and surveys had visited Bishopscourt. Of the seven houses visited, only one resident had participated in the survey but had refused to take up the challenge of using a pottie for a week.
“Many of the people were not willing to open the gates for us. But we consider the campaign to be successful. If only one person listens and understands, that is a good step for us,” Magerman said.
Amy Ruiters, the only Constantia resident who had been willing to participate when activists visited her suburb on Monday, took up the challenge to use a pottie for a week.
But when the Cape Times visited Ruiters on Thursday, she said had not used it.
“If I did use it, what difference was it going to make? I didn’t want them to think I was above using it, that’s why I took it,” Ruiters said. It would be more effective if the activists rather invested their energy in approaching the legislature on the issue, she said.