Cape Town,23 02 07. A bucket toilet system in Mpetha squatter camp in Nyanga . Picture Lulama

Mthatha - The Democratic Alliance will investigate the increase in the use of the bucket toilet system in the Eastern Cape, the party said on Friday.

“The DA will be initiating its own investigation to determine exactly in which areas of the province this has taken place,” DA MP Kevin Mileham said.

The use of the bucket system was offensive and robbed people of their dignity.

“It is shocking that the problem persists on such a large scale in the Eastern Cape.”

The party would identify hotspots, report them to the SA Human Rights Commission and follow up to ensure that remedial action was implemented.

Mileham said the SAHRC should investigate the issue as a matter of urgency.

“The SAHRC must identify those local governments that are responsible and must enforce strong remedial actions to those responsible.”

On Thursday, a Statistics SA report showed that the use of the bucket toilet system had increased in three provinces between 2012 and 2013.

The Eastern Cape, North West, and KwaZulu-Natal reported increases, according to StatsSA's Non-Financial Census of Municipalities, June 2013.

In the North West, 1481 households were using the bucket toilet system in 2012. This increased to 1750 in 2013.

In KwaZulu-Natal, no households were using the bucket system, but in 2013, 1585 were using it, according to StatsSA.

The number of households using the system in the Eastern Cape increased from 38,606 to 52,732. The province had the highest number of households using the bucket toilet system.

According to StatsSA, the number of households using the system decreased between 2012 and 2013 in Gauteng, the Western Cape, Northern Cape, and Free State.

In Gauteng, the number dropped from 160 to 58; in the Western Cape it decreased from 3804 to 2598; the Northern Cape decreased from 9286 to 8147, and the Free State went down from 35 214 to 31 032.

Limpopo reported no use of the bucket toilet system in 2012 or 2013, StatsSA said.