One toilet for 10 households will have to do, court told

2009-09-16 11:26

Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality insists that 10 Harry Gwala

Informal Settlement households will have to share one chemical communal


This is what the City of Ekurhuleni told the Constitutional Court


The chemical toilets were said to be a temporary solution for the

community until an environmental impact study had been conducted. The study will

assess the impact that the pit toilets, currently used by the community, have

had on the soil.

The community is appealing against an order issued by the South

Gauteng High Court, which granted the residents the installation of communal

water taps and refuse removal services but declined them sanitation services and

high-mast lighting.

The informal settlement has had no electricity and no proper

sanitation since its existence.

The environmental impact study will take a year to finalise. A

month after the completion of the study, the chemical toilets will then be

installed. However, this is provided the impact study results are positive. If


the community might have to be relocated elsewhere.

The community is complaining that having to go to unisex communal

toilets after dark, in a settlement without high-mast lighting is unsafe and

does not afford them any human dignity.

The City is adamant that its budget only allows for one toilet per

10 households and that the municipality cannot give Harry Gwala preferential

treatment above the other 108 informal settlements with similar problems.

Meanwhile, Gauteng Province representative, advocate Mbuyiseli

Madlanga expressed regret to community members for having to wait for a lengthy

period without adequate housing.

The Constitutional Court has yet to make its ruling.


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