De Lille praises Cape Town sanitation

2013-06-05 16:03

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Cape Town - At least 97% of Cape Town residents have access to sanitation - the highest level in the country, Mayor Patricia de Lille said on Wednesday.

"This is due to sustained and large-scale investments over a period of time in sanitation services in informal settlements," she told reporters at the Civic Centre.

Investment in sanitation rose from R56m in 2006/07 to R130m in the 2011/12 financial year.

"The number of toilets in informal settlements has more than doubled from 10 591 to over 35 000 in the same period."

The national ratio was one toilet per five households.

De Lille said 88.2% of households fell within this ratio.

"This is despite the fact that the number of households in informal settlements has increased by almost 50 000, from 154 000 to 193 951."

The city was providing a janitorial service, the only service of its kind in the country, she said.

Residents in informal settlements had access to 67 free call lines to report any service delivery issues, with 20 more lines to be connected by the end of July.

De Lille said the water and sanitation department held monthly meetings with its contractors to assess their performance.

Spot checks were conducted to verify servicing and the quality thereof.

The department had employed 845 janitors and 220 community officers and environmental health workers to help with monitoring.

The city kept an eye on operations at the Borchard's Quarry Wastewater Treatment Plant.

"Records reflect the settlements which were serviced, volumes disposed, and the condition of the trucks for spillages. Recorded volumes are compared with the total number of toilets on site," De Lille said.

Tracking devices

The department was investigating installing a tracking device inside chemical toilets that would record when they were serviced.

"This will help reduce payment claims related to services not rendered."

De Lille said the city would penalise or blacklist those contractors not doing their job.

"Where they're not doing their work, they're not getting paid," said Ernest Sonnenberg, the utility services mayoral committee member.

Last month, former Sannicare janitors, who were responsible for cleaning communal toilets, blocked a part of the N2 highway with burning tyres, and dumped faeces on the road.

They were protesting against being dismissed after demanding they be paid the equivalent of a 16-hour work day, which Sannicare rejected, saying it was against labour legislation.

De Lille said that while they could not directly intervene, they were "working tirelessly to help resolve the issues at hand".

Read more on:    patricia de lille  |  cape town  |  health

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