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Cape Town - THE Social Justice Coalition says the city is yet to take action five months after its audit showed some chemical toilets were “missing” and that a toilet contractor was failing to provide a proper service.
The coalition is also upset that Mshengu Toilet Hire’s three-year contract has been extended for another six months despite alarming findings which showed it was failing in its obligations. The contract expired in June.
The city is denying the findings of the social audit.
At a meeting in April Khayelitsha residents highlighted the dismal state of chemical toilets, which they said had not been maintained and cleaned properly by the city’s contractor, Mshengu Services. At the time mayor Patricia de Lille acknowledged that the city needed to improve the monitoring of the service.
The social audit released in the same month, conducted by the SJC with assistance from the International Budget Partnership in Washington and the Society for Social Audit in India, found that Mshengu was failing to maintain some toilets in four sections in Khayelitsha.
“It is problematic that the city has rolled over the contract for Mshengu,” SJC deputy general secretary Dustin Kramer said.
“We haven’t really seen any remedial actions from them.”
Kramer said the city had conducted its own “mini audit” but had delivered new toilets to “discredit the social audit”.
Among its findings the audit revealed that of the 346 toilets supplied, 256 were found and 170 were damaged. Instead of five families a toilet (the city’s norm), on average 17 families used each toilet.
Kramer said they would only take a decision on the matter once the Human Rights Commission had completed its report on the Mshengu contract.
Mayco member for utility services Ernest Sonnenberg said the Mshengu contract had been extended for six months in line with Supply Chain Management policy until a new tender was awarded.
He said the city was in the process of finalising the details for a new tender.
Sonnenberg said contrary to the report stating that toilets were missing, they had been relocated due to fluctuating needs of the community or were undergoing repairs.
When the city conducted a follow-up audit, it found that some toilets were undergoing repairs after being vandalised.