Flush away toilet rumours, Sexwale says
Johannesburg - Rumours that residents of Tshiame near Harrismith in the Free State have to pay for toilets should be "flushed away", Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale said on Wednesday.
Sexwale visited the township after he learnt the Maluti-a-Phofung municipality had built 1 000 toilets on land earmarked for low-cost houses, and had intended to sell sites to residents for R12 000 each.
SABC news reported that Sexwale blamed municipal officials for not adequately communicating their plans to local residents.
"People who earn R3 500 and above are the people who the communities agree and understand should pay. There must have been a cross of info where people heard those who are paying, and they confused that with the free housing that is normally given to the poorest," he told the SABC.
The broadcaster said the local residents still maintained they were lied to.
"I don't know who's fooling who because the province and the local government told us different prices," Tshiame resident Mpho Skhosana was quoted as saying.
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 unenclosed 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.
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.