City seeks interdict against toilet disrupters

2013-05-22 15:39

The City of Cape Town intends seeking an interdict against the people disrupting the servicing of toilets in informal settlements.

Utility services mayoral committee member Ernest Sonnenberg said today services had been affected in Kanana, Barcelona, and Boystown, in Gugulethu.

“We have met with our attorneys and will be getting the interdict soon. We can’t say exactly when,” he said.

Sannicare janitors responsible for cleaning communal toilets blocked the N2 highway with burning tyres on Monday and dumped faeces in the road, in protest against being dismissed.

At the weekend, residents escorted city officials to service toilets which had been left unattended because of the labour action.

“Last night, we received reports from community members in Europe (in Gugulethu) that they were being threatened by members of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL), who, it is alleged, threatened to burn their homes,” Sonnenberg said.

“The city will work with all relevant law enforcement agencies to investigate any such claims.”

ANCYL regional chairman Khaya Yozi denied that members had played any part in the toilet dispute.

“These are very extreme and unfounded allegations. It’s just poor of the city, when they are caught with their pants down, to blame it on someone else,” he said.

“We are not involved in these threats or violence whatsoever.”

He said ANCYL leaders had played a mediating role between Sannicare and its former contract workers.

“The employees were told by their contractor that they were dismissed, but they protested because they were actually employed by a subcontractor. There was also a discrepancy in salary being offered.”

Yozi, who is a councillor for the Nyanga areas of Vukuzenzele, Lusaka and Zimbabwe, said he and other councillors had convinced the janitors to keep on cleaning the toilets.

“The toilets are being cleaned on the basis of our intervention. We said to the cleaners: we pledge solidarity with your march, but look, we live here with yourselves. They need to be cleaned.”

Yozi asked the city to take a greater leadership role in the dispute.

Sonnenberg said six city employees had been attacked in the past few weeks. A city vehicle was set alight a month ago in Kanana.

On Friday, a city official was attacked while driving in a marked car through Boystown. He was hit on the head with a brick and glass was shattered on his arm. He was taken to hospital for treatment.

On Monday, city staff were apparently singled out and threatened.

“What is becoming increasingly clear is that the intimidation of city staff and disruption of major transport routes is part of a well coordinated strategy,” Sonnenberg said.

“The city will not stand idly by while our staff are being attacked, and while the rights of innocent citizens to sanitation and other services is threatened.”

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