Portable public toilet project in CBD a success

Portable toilets along Upper Long Street. Picture: CCID

Portable toilets along Upper Long Street. Picture: CCID

Published Mar 7, 2024


Cape Town - The portable public toilet project in the CBD has been recognised as a success, with nearly 300 000 people making use of the loo’s since 2022.

A joint venture between the Cape Town Central Improvement District (CCID), the City and NGO Khulisa Social Solutions, the 14 toilets are located in pairs on the corner of Adderley and Darling Streets, in Longmarket Street, Upper Long Street and Barrack Street, with the remaining six toilets at the public ablution facility on Green Market Square.

Ward 115 councillor in Cape Town, Ian McMahon, said the initiative was a pilot project.

CCID CEO Tasso Evangelinos said from mid-May 2022 to January 31, 2024 a total of 297 063 people used the serviced toilets.

“There is a scarcity of public ablution facilities in the CBD, and the long-standing ones are only open during normal working hours.

“We wanted to address this shortage but also provide clean, safe facilities that were not only open during the day, but also at night,” Evangelinos said.

“It’s clear from these figures that the convenient and clean facilities have been very well received and appreciated by all members of our CBD community.”

Khulisa Social Solutions strategic partnerships manager, Jesse Laitinen, said the project’s job opportunities provided a sense of purpose and structure as it increased the workers’ sense of self-worth and pride.

“The work offers a daily routine and a reason to wake up in the morning. This routine can be crucial in breaking cycles of instability and addiction that often accompany long-term homelessness.”

At least 19 people were employed to manage the toilets.

Manager of the CCID’s urban management department, Kally Benito, said the toilets needed to be cleaned and sanitised after every use as they collaborated with Streetscapes work-based rehabilitation programme that provides trained workers with a stipend to clean and sanitise the units.

“While the majority of users are people who visit or work in the CBD, of the 297 063 recorded users, a total of 79 076 were homeless individuals.

"Ten of the 14 toilets are open seven days a week from 7am to 11pm, which is a big plus.

“The units at Adderley and Darling Streets, Longmarket Steet and on Green Market Square are all open from Monday to Sunday from 7am to 11pm.

“The units in Barrack Street are open from Monday to Friday from 7am to 5pm and the Upper Long Street units, which serve late-night revellers, are open from Tuesday to Saturday from 4pm to 5am.”

Cape Argus

Related Topics:

Cape Town