Sexwale to appoint toilet task team

2011-07-15 08:08
Cape Town - Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale will appoint a national task team to investigate recurring complaints that local government has failed to provide enclosed toilets in poor communities.

"Quite clearly many of these abandoned toilets-in-the-veld projects, which have been constructed as far back as year 2000, require not a piecemeal approach as they are exposed, but a comprehensive approach," the ministry said.

As a result, Sexwale will announce the task team's members next week. It will deal with the matter in each province and all municipalities.

"The poorest of the poor cannot be left in this undignified situation through a fault not of their making."

Open toilet controversies

The announcement came after both national and local government struggled to say what progress had been made in enclosing open toilets in Rammulotsi, near Viljoenskroon in the Free State, since they were discovered in May.

Sexwale now also had to contend with a second open toilet controversy in the province, in Tshiame, near Harrismith.

Sexwale's spokesperson Mandulo Maphumulo said she knew "everything" was in place at "government level" to complete the enclosure of 1 600 toilets built in Rammulotsi in 2003. She could however not provide figures on progress made in the past two months.

The issue severely embarrassed the ANC on eve of the May municipal elections, while the party was making mint out of the Democratic Alliance's failure to enclose toilets in Khayelitsha on the Cape Flats.

A spokesperson for the mayor of Moqhaka promised the municipality, which runs Viljoenskroon, would give more information on Friday, as did the provincial human settlements department's spokesperson.

The Sowetan on Thursday reported claims by the DA that only 112 toilets in Rammulotsi had been enclosed since May.

A day earlier, Sexwale visited Tshiame amid an outcry over claims that the Maluti-a-Phofung municipality had built 1 000 toilets on land earmarked for low-cost houses, and intended to sell these to residents for thousands of rands.

He subsequently said these were rumours that needed to be "flushed away".

But the ministry conceded that after the visit it was still not clear whether Harrismith municipal officials had indeed tried to extort money from the poor, or whether local residents were simply misinformed.

"There are no 'open toilets'," ministerial spokesperson Mandulo Maphumulo said.

Payment

"They were built on service sites and people were told that they have to pay R10 000 or R12 000 for those. It may be a rumour, it may be true.

"We have to investigate. He (Sexwale) went there with the police and said 'if somebody told you this, tell us who they are'. The community also has a responsibility to report this."

Maphumulo said the Maluti-a-Phofung municipality had built 500 toilets on the site in Harrismith in question. Of these, 311 were part of service sites that would become RDP houses under an approved project.

On the rest of the sites, houses would be built for the so-called gap market - low-income earners who could not access bank financing for a home.

The situation in Harrismith angered Cosatu. Trade union federation spokesperson Patrick Craven called on police to investigate and arrest any officials found guilty of profiteering at the expense of the poor.

The SA Human Rights Commission commended Sexwale's "swift response" in visiting the area, and sounded a warning to the municipality.

"The commission condemns the pattern of lack of consultation, engagement and non-provision of information by some municipalities, including the Maluti-a-Phofung municipality.

"The commission cautions municipalities that legislation and judgments of our courts actually require not only consultation, but the active participation of our communities."

Early last year, the DA become embroiled in a political storm for failing to enclose more than 1 300 toilets in Makhaza, on the Cape Flats. After a long legal battle, the City of Cape Town on Monday began building structures around these.

- SAPA
Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  tokyo sexwale  |  service delivery
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
76 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

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.