Public loos open ’til late

2017-11-28 06:01

A pilot project to have toilets open on the Sea Point Promenade was approved by the local subcouncil last week.

The pilot is expected to start in February next year at the ablution block at Rocklands beach.

Ward councillor Shayne Ramsay says the pilot project comes after much debate among residents.

“Shortly after being elected as councillor, I expressed publicly that I would like to open the toilets on the promenade and on the beaches on a 24-hour basis,” she ­explains.

“One of the complaints I receive most often from ratepayers is about homeless people relieving themselves on the streets outside their homes.”

Keeping the toilets open would “relieve some of the tension between ratepayers and the homeless”, Ramsay says.

“On the beaches in midsummer, the sun sets around nine but the toilets close well before then. This means that tourists have to knock on residents’ doors to request to use their private toilets. Clearly there is a need for public toilets to be open later and at least one open all night. I never expected to receive any complaints about this initiative,” she says.

During this trial period, security will be on duty every night to ensure the safety of those using the toilets and preventing illicit activities, Ramsay says.

“If it proves to be a success, we will endeavour to find funding for the project from the City of Cape Town budget on an ongoing basis. If it proves a failure or if anyone is endangered in any way, the project will be terminated immediately,” she says.

“This topic seems to have become controversial. Of the emails I have received the vast number of residents are in support of the plan. It is only a few on Facebook who are vociferously against the idea.

“The project was unanimously approved in subcouncil. It is a trial project worth ­doing.”

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