Govt toilets not for sale - Cosatu

2011-07-13 14:06
Johannesburg - Officials cannot sell government toilets that are supposed to be provided for free, the Congress of SA Trade Unions said on Wednesday.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said poor people could not pay for toilets or low-cost houses, which they were entitled to be given for free.

He was responding to the recent toilets scandal in Tshiame near Harrismith in the Free State, where the Maluti-a-Phofung municipality has built 1 000 toilets on land earmarked for low cost houses, and intends to sell sites with toilets for R12 000.

"In any case, the toilets are so close together that it will be impossible for people to build houses on the adjoining land," Craven said in a statement.

'Ugly face of corruption'

Craven said the police must investigate and arrest any councillors or officials found to be guilty of corruptly profiteering at the expense of the poor.

Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale on Tuesday described the situation as the "true and ugly face of corruption and misuse of power".

"The Harrismith toilet-saga represents the ugly face of the kind of corruption we have been calling people to stand together against.

"This represents the worst form of planning which degrades the dignity of the poorest of the poor," he said in a statement.

Sexwale was to visit the township of Tshiame on Wednesday in order to see for himself the extent of the scandal.

Confusion over enclosures

In the Free State's first toilet row in May, the Human Rights Commission received a complaint that 1 600 toilets in the ANC-run Moqhaka municipality had been left without enclosures for the past eight years.

The matter was apparently the result of an agreement between the municipality and local residents, that the municipality would provide the sanitation and residents would erect the enclosures.

Residents have denied this.

A similar matter attracted huge attention in the Western Cape.

On April 29 the Western Cape High Court ordered the DA-led City of Cape Town to enclose 1 316 toilets in the Makhaza settlement on the Cape Flats.
- SAPA
Read more on:    cosatu  |  human settlements  |  tokyo sexwale  |  patrick craven  |  bloemfontein  |  housing  |  service delivery
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