Poor sanitation shocks Winnie
Johannesburg - ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has expressed shock at the state of sanitation facilities across the country, it was reported on Wednesday.
"There are serious shortcomings in the implementation of the sanitation programme," the Sowetan newspaper quoted Madikizela-Mandela as saying.
"I have personally been shocked at how grave these shortcomings are, especially as they seem to expose our weakness 17 years after 1994."
Madikizela-Mandela was speaking in East London, Eastern Cape, during a five-day programme to assess the state of sanitation facilities across the country.
She said her team would "leave no stone unturned" in improving the lives of victims of poor service delivery.
"We want to assure you that this task team will spare no one. We shall investigate these irregularities and malpractices [which are] hampering the implementation of the programme," Madikizela-Mandela said.
Applicants ‘desperately poor’
Human settlements minister Tokyo Sexwale announced the task team on September 6, with a mandate to visit municipalities with housing related problems. It would give a full report and recommendations in three months.
This follows news reports on open toilets in the Western Cape and Free State in May.
On Tuesday, residents of the Silahliwe informal settlement, east of Johannesburg, sought an order against Sexwale from the South Gauteng High Court, reported the Sowetan.
They were demanding land and sanitation facilities because Sexwale, the Gauteng department of housing and the Ekurhuleni municipality had "failed" them.
Their affidavit read: "Most of the applicants are desperately poor, and most of them have no income whatsoever.
"In Silahliwe squatter camp, applicants live in shacks without water, electricity, sewerage or refuse removal systems..."