ANC does toilet audit

2013-10-27 06:00

Mindful of how quickly recent elections campaigns have ended up in the loo, the ANC has embarked on a survey of bucket toilets and informal settlements in all its municipalities.

The party wants to consider short-term measures to eradicate backlogs, particularly in light of next year’s general elections.

An estimated 2.5 million people are without proper toilets.

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte sent out a memo on October 10 to all provincial ANC secretaries, asking for reports on this issue.

Duarte said in the memo the order to the party’s monitoring and evaluation unit, which she heads, came from the ANC’s national officials.

The purpose of the survey is to assess how far government has come in eradicating bucket toilets and informal settlements and to “determine what has to be done in the short term to respond to the backlogs, particularly in light of the upcoming elections”.

Provincial secretaries were given until October 18 to report back.

They had to answer questions about the size of their municipalities, the money these have, the number of pit, open and bucket toilets, and how many of these would be eradicated by April 2014, around the anticipated date for the elections.

It also asks what the municipalities have done about informal settlements and about converting hostels into family units.

Government has recently revised its goal of eradicating bucket toilets by 2014 – to 2016.

DA spokesperson on human settlements Stevens Mokgalapa said the ANC’s current efforts were an “Elastoplast solution”.

“It is quite sad that the ANC remembers people especially ... when it is elections time,” he said.

He said it was “a joke” that the party thought it could do anything to eradicate the problem ahead of elections.

The problem is worst in the Eastern Cape, the Northern Cape and also in some places in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.

Earlier this year, the City of Cape Town faced “poo protests” over the portable sanitation systems it has provided in informal settlements. This week, the Economic Freedom Fighters joined the poo wars. Read: Arrested: EFF members who threw faeces at Sanlam head office In the 2011 elections, open toilets in the ANC-run Moqhaka municipality as well as in the DA-run Makhaza settlement in the Cape Town metro became a big elections issue.

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