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KwaMashu residents forced to use buckets as municipality fails to clear pit toilets

Residents of KwaMashu have no option but to find alternatives to toilets thanks to the lack of service delivery by the local municipality that has left pit toilets unusable. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Residents of KwaMashu have no option but to find alternatives to toilets thanks to the lack of service delivery by the local municipality that has left pit toilets unusable. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published May 30, 2023

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The DA in KwaZulu-Natal says it will be writing to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to request an urgent probe into the eThekwini Municipality's alleged failure to clean pit toilets, forcing residents of Bester, in KwaMashu, to use buckets.

The opposition party conducted an oversight visit in KwaMashu after complaints emerged that the community did not have proper sanitation.

The DA said the latrines were built in 1996 and 1997, and have not been cleaned for almost five years now.

The oversight visit was led by the DA KZN leader, Francois Rodger, DA KZN spokesperson on human settlements Marlaine Nair, the DA’s Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu chairperson, Hlengiwe Shozi, and the DA eThekwini spokesperson on human settlements, Zamani Khuzwayo.

“Thirty years into democracy, members of this community are being stripped of their dignity. They depend on neighbours for toilets and use buckets at night that they can only dispose of the next day,” the party said.

Earlier this year, at a public hearing held by the provincial human settlements portfolio committee at the Bester Community Hall which eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda attended, community members raised the issue of the pit toilets overflowing, forcing them to use the toilets at the Bridge City mall.

Despite the situation, no action was taken.

“This lack of intervention indicates that the ANC government not only demonstrates a complete lack of concern but also openly displays their disinterest in the well-being of vulnerable citizens,” the DA said.

In response to this situation, the DA said it was taking the following actions:

• Writing to the Human Rights Commission on behalf of the residents of Bester, urging them to investigate and address the inhumane conditions people were forced to live in.

• Through its councillors in the eThekwini Municipality, requesting that the matter be urgently tabled at the next human settlements and infrastructure portfolio committee meeting. The party said it would demand answers to critical questions such as who was awarded the contract to clean these toilets and why they haven't been cleaned in more than five years.

• Raising the matter at the provincial legislature.

The party said it was important for the problematic behaviour of the ANC-led municipality to be addressed.

“We have highlighted that eThekwini municipality is the ANC's problem child that must be brought in line.

“The people of Bester have grown tired of the ANC's failures, and in the upcoming 2024 elections, they will have the opportunity to elect a caring DA government that prioritises their well-being,” the DA said.

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