No clarity yet on HRC probe into PE's bucket toilets

2016-07-12 17:29

Johannesburg - The SAHRC is yet to confirm whether it will investigate the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality for allegedly violating human rights with its bucket toilet system.

SA Human Rights Commission spokesperson Gail Smith said she would only be able to respond to News24’s query on Wednesday.

In a letter to the DA's mayoral candidate, Athol Trollip, dated June 24, SAHRC chairperson Lawrence Mushwana said he would refer the party’s complaint to his CEO, Lindiwe Khumalo. She would provide further advice on any action the commission intended taking against the metro.

The DA laid a complaint with the SAHRC about sanitation in Walmer township, Port Elizabeth, in September 2014. Trollip subsequently alleged that the municipality had misled the commission.

According to the DA, infrastructure and engineering director Walter Shaidi had claimed the construction of communal toilets had started in December 2015. Trollip said this contradicted an SABC report, dated June 2016, in which the municipality said it was only then starting construction.

According to Stats SA’s annual non-financial census of municipalities in 2015, the number of people using the bucket toilet system was increasing, City Press reported.

Municipality spokesperson Kupido Baron said they had reduced the number of buckets from 23 000 to less than 16 400 in two years. 

"We, more than anywhere else, are aware of the indignities people suffer by using buckets. We are trying our best to have the least possible buckets in our metro," he said.

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