Toilets and taps for backyarders

2017-09-12 06:01
Susan Martin from Factreton shows the bucket she and her family use to relieve themselves.PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

Susan Martin from Factreton shows the bucket she and her family use to relieve themselves.PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

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Factreton backyarders may see their homes improve as the City of Cape Town has new plans.

Xanthea Limberg, Mayco member for informal settlements, water, waste services, and energy, has revealed that City officials will survey the backyarders to find out who still needs toilets and taps.

“The City will commence rollout of these services within the current financial year,” she says.

She says this follows recent engagements with community leaders and that an agreement has been reached to resume the project. She says this follows a pilot project during the 2012/2013 financial year. According to her R70m was spent on installing 83 toilets, 188 electricity connections and 156 bins. She says some residents did not want to be part of the project back then, leaving them without these services.

But residents claim it is not true that the project was completed as they believed they would get taps and toilets in the following financial year after the project had stopped. Some of their toilets were left incomplete.

One resident, Susan Martin, says her toilet is a disgrace because she and her family use a bucket and throw their waste on the open fields in front of their shack. The toilet has walls but not a seat or sewage system.

“It is so humiliating that after so many years into democracy we still do not have access to basic services and we are using a bucket to relieve ­ourselves.”

Another resident, Chrislane September, says the municipality has been making empty promises for years. She says she has been waiting for an electricity box since her shack burnt years ago.

She hopes City officials will fulfil their promise to provide services to every backyarder in Factreton. She says they were also promised houses many years ago.

Community leader Jimmy Xalipi confirms that a meeting was held and a survey is expected to start soon. He says the backyarders “had been abandoned for many years”. He and the other community leaders want to hold the City accountable and make sure services are delivered.

“We are glad they are finally starting to take action because we have been trying so hard to get these services for the people. This project was left incomplete and people have been struggling,” he says.

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