Audit exposes pits in ablution

2016-08-04 06:00
 Empty seats of City of Cape Town officials who were invited to the Social Justice Coalition’s social audit.

Empty seats of City of Cape Town officials who were invited to the Social Justice Coalition’s social audit.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Child minder Nonkoliso Tshemese, of Ndlovini, Monwabisi Park, only has six portaloos for her 65 children to use.

Tshemese, 58, runs an informal crèche, and said her pleas since 2014 for more portaloos from City of Cape Town officials have fallen on deaf ears.

“They kept telling me they’d try. I’m still waiting. There are many other residents with heartbreaking stories who are also waiting. Some of them have to relieve themselves in a plastic bag,” said Tshemese.

“The truck meant to fetch the portaloos never comes, so I clean them myself,” she added.

She was speaking at a Social Justice Coalition (SJC) public hearing on the social audit of the provision of sanitation in Monwabisi Park.

The social audit was conducted by Monwabisi Park residents in partnership with the SJC and the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco).

The audit – which includes interviewing residents and physical verification of sanitation services – was conducted between 14 and 23 July 2016.

870 Monwabisi Park residents were interviewed.

While most (42%) of the residents said they had access to a communal pour flush toilet (this is a toilet in which water is poured into it to flush the contents), a quarter of the interviewees said they went to the bush to relieve themselves. The majority of these residents said it took them between four and ten minutes to access a pour flush toilet. Portaloos were reported as the third most common way for the residents to relieve themselves.

Giving feedback on the social audit, community members said some Monwabisi Park residents – like 46-year-old Veliswa Rongo – had resorted to digging pit toilets for themselves.

“I dug a deep hole right at the back of my house and surrounded it with tyres. When a hole is full I have to dig out another hole. I’m already running out of space. But I can’t access the communal flush toilet because some residents lock them and keep the keys to themselves.”

Rongo said: “The pit toilets stink. In summer there are maggots and mosquitoes all around them.”

Other residents told stories of having to carry sick relatives to a bucket, and being assaulted and robbed at gunpoint while going to relieve themselves in the bush.

Ironically, the public hearing was held on a field near the City’s Violence Protection through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) office, which has a flush toilet inside.

SJC activist, Luthando Tokota, said seven City officials were invited to the public hearing. But none attended. Tokota said only one official notified the organisation he would not attend, saying he was busy with campaigning for the elections on 3 August.

The seven City officials had not responded to emails from GroundUp enquiring about their absence by the time of publishing.

SJC General Secretary, Phumeza Mlungwana, said the City should not think it had dodged a bullet by not attending the public hearing.

“We have testimonies and evidence of how people are living. We’ll put those together, make a report, and send it to them. Should they ignore us, we will fight them. Our rights must not be violated because we are black and poor. It can’t be that, in 2016, black people in South Africa have to go to the bush to relieve themselves.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.