A boy walks past rows of flush toilets in the RR Section of Khayelitsha. Picture: Jason Boud
A boy walks past rows of flush toilets in the RR Section of Khayelitsha. Picture: Jason Boud

Filthy and broken toilets need to be replaced, say Khayelitsha residents

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Jul 21, 2021

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town said it will replace the missing and/or damaged toilet doors in Khayelitsha, as soon as the ordered stock has been received.

This after residents complained that their toilets in the RR section have been overflowing with faeces, and many have no doors, seats or cisterns. Some blocks of toilets haven’t been cleaned in a year, and some for almost two years.

Resident Ayanda Zanazo said most of their toilets were not working, to the point that residents waited until dark to relieve themselves outside.

Zanazo said filthy water from the sewage that spills from the toilets was all over the area. He said they needed help because their children would get sick.

Water and Waste Mayco member Xanthea Limberg said at the weekend, the City’s Informal Settlement Basic Services Branch attended to the toilets with broken cisterns.

Limberg said there was a shortage of parts and equipment such as doors. She said since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, there had been delays in the shipment of equipment and building material and Cape Town was no exception.

“While repairs and maintenance activities are conducted frequently in the area, the infrastructure is subject to sustained abuse and vandalism which unfortunately results in service delivery disruptions,” said Limberg.

Social Justice Coalition (SJC) spokesperson Nomathemba Masemula said in March, 22 communities across the city held a protest in against the gross human rights violations they were constantly subjected to by the City.

Masemula said at least 11 years ago, communities across Cape Town demonstrated for the exact same thing, water and sanitation.

“Now, 11 years later, community members living in informal settlements have not only received inadequate basic water and sanitation, but their situation is becoming worse by the day,” she said.

Khayelitsha ward councillor Monde Nqulwana said about 43 people were being employed every six months to look after those toilets.

Nqulwana said those people were not reporting the problems. Instead they allegedly sat next to the toilet blocks during working hours and did nothing.

He said the toilets did not only need to be cleaned, they needed to be rebuilt.

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