Business park owner: Segregated toilets not true

2014-11-05 18:29

Johannesburg - Allegations that a Limpopo business park allocates toilets according to race groups are false, the owner of the premises said on Wednesday.

"No it is not true. There is nothing like that," Bennie van der Merwe told Sapa.

He said tenants used the same toilets, only members of the public were barred from using them.

The Sowetan reported that tenants at the Vleissentraal office block in Louis Trichardt convened a meeting after alleging they were told to use separate toilets. They told the newspaper they had enough of the segregation and humiliation.

"There are four toilets in this building. One is for black females, one for black males, one for white and coloured females, and the last one is used by one white male," a businessman, who did not want to be named, was quoted as saying.

"The toilets are always locked and before we can use them we have to ask for the keys from the white lady managing the building."

Other tenants, who did not want to be named, also spoke to the newspaper about the alleged racism.

Van der Merwe said some tenants had keys to the toilets and that more would be copied for the rest of the tenants.

"Some of them cut they keys themselves," he said.

Rita van Schalkwyk, a caretaker at the building, denied the allegations but said one toilet in the office park was reserved for the manager.

"White and black workers use the same toilet. It is not about black or white."

She said a man had walked onto the premises and insisted on using the women's toilet. She initially refused to let him use any of the facilities, then suggested he use the men's. She turned him away after he refused to use the men's toilet, Van Schalkwyk said.

The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) described the allegations as shocking and had sent a team to look into the matter.

"If they are indeed true, we will immediately launch an investigation."

The Democratic Alliance said it would perform an oversight visit at the building.

"The DA has zero tolerance for racial division and discrimination, especially after 20 years of democracy," MPL Jacques Smalle said in a statement.

Smalle said he would urge the complainants to lay charges with the police.

Mangena said it was shocking that there were still reports of facilities being reserved exclusively for the use of white people, 20 years into South Africa's democracy.

"We would like to reiterate that racism has no place in a society such as ours, which just came out of many years of state-sponsored racism, and we need to do everything to eradicate it," he said.

  • Tomorrowss Dreamss - 2014-11-05 18:31

    So what. Government allocates job according to race groups, so what is the difference then.

      Kalawa Sledgehammer - 2014-11-05 18:57

      Stupidity is strong on these two...

      Tye Botha - 2014-11-05 19:24

      Really? grow up. There is a difference between redress and discrimination.

      True South - 2014-11-05 20:00

      The employment equity act is quite clear in stating that it is illegal to use race as an absolute barrier, and where such has happened courts have rules against government. What the law says is that when you have two equally qualified and experienced persons - one black and the other white - then you employ the one who will improve representivity based on your EE plan.

      Djembe Ndebele - 2014-11-05 20:07

      Van der Merwe said some tenants had keys to the toilets and that more would be copied for the rest of the tenants. SOMETHING FISHY MORE WOULD BE COPIED. This is something not new and it never died. Racism is alive and a certain group enjoys it.

      Joyce Visagie - 2014-11-05 20:17

      These toilets are fine for me. I don't like sharing.

      Keith V. Eeden - 2014-11-05 20:19

      Garden day tomorrow. What do I let my gardener use for a toilet facility? The servant quarters or inside the main house? Just asking?

      steven.makhubo - 2014-11-05 20:40

      You decide Keith your own conscience should decide for you if another human deserves whatever decision you make

      Victor Mendes - 2014-11-06 08:34

      Yes lets also look at black societies as well e.g black lawyer association, black business association and all similar things. This race thing is so disgusting.

      Noxa Flux Sibanda - 2014-11-06 14:03

      "Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned everything is war" Bob Marley

      James Black - 2014-11-06 17:58

      The idiot say "toilets reserved exclusively for whites" should it not be toilets reserved exclusively for blacks

  • Tomorrowss Dreamss - 2014-11-05 18:35

    20+ years into democracy and we still have white lawyers excluded from the BLACK LAWYERS ASSOCIATION. SO WHY DO BLACK CRY ABOUT TOILETS IN LIMPOPO?

      True South - 2014-11-05 19:50

      White lawyers are not excluded. The name is descriptive in that it represents the interests of black lawyers. The same way AfriForum is open about the fact that it represents the interests of white Afrikaners (and there are many other similar organizations), although it does not exclude others on the basis of race. Simple put - a white lawyer can join the black lawyers association, and a black person can join afriforum.

      True South - 2014-11-05 20:14

      @Nikki, You might be surprised to know that black economic empowerment was never meant to benefit black people. It was meant to protect and grow the assets of white business. And that's exactly what BEE has achieved. Contrary to popular belief, BEE was not invented by the ANC. It was invented by white business, especially the Minerals Energy Complex (MEC). Through BEE, white business would transfer assets to a few black political elite. In turn (or return) the black political elite will help protect white assets from the poor black masses who wanted redistribution of wealth (assets). An old white Afrikaner professor of economics from Stellenbosch gives a very insightful background into SA politics and economics. Read his book called Lost in Transformation.

      True South - 2014-11-05 20:36

      @Nikki, Sure. But I have realized that there is a big difference between fact and fiction. Although it is not publicized, I promise you that you can go to any government department and state owned entity and you will find that a large majority of tenders are awarded to white owned companies. Many of them registered after 1994. Every government department and state owned entity keeps a record of how much is spent (procurement spend) on white women, black women, youth, etc. (all demographic groups). Unfortunately, the media focuses on the few tenders irregularly awarded to black owned companies and if you do not have the full picture you'll believe that only black owned companies win government tenders.

      True South - 2014-11-05 20:45

      For example, take the building lease contract awarded to one Shabangu by the former police commissioner. It made big news. But the department of public works has 1000s of lease agreements all over the country and at least 90% of those properties are white owned. Maybe next time you visit home affairs, check who owns the building. And I hope you don't get me wrong. I'm completely against corruption and corrupt people should be punished.

      True South - 2014-11-05 21:07

      @Nikki, Yes, I know. I failed to convince my own brother. He worked in the private sector all his life until recently. The first month after joining Trade and Industry he called me to say "now I believe you." He suddenly had access to all the information and was surprised to see how many billions are given to white owned companies as grants. Many more on procurement. Many small businesses that develop solar solutions, innovative farming solutions, etc. receive funding from government to do research and develop new products/solutions. The same year he joined, a big company in the automobile industry was granted a R7 billion grant after it threatened to leave the country (which supports your point about big multinationals). Government did this to save jobs, but it was never in the media.

      True South - 2014-11-05 21:52

      @Nikki, I have strong views on that. But before I get there, Zimbabweans and other African foreign nationals are not 'black' in law. So employing a black person from Zimbabwe does not count towards EE targets, unless that person became an SA citizen before 1996 when the new constitution was signed into law. A Chinese person can be regarded as 'black' using the same criteria. I used to do consulting work in smaller municipalities in the inland provinces. You'd find a person employed as a technical manager. But when you speak to them, they can't even read engineering drawings. Or a municipal manager who can't read financial statements. Or a CFO who is a former school accounting teacher and has never worked as an accountant. Employment of unsuitable persons is a major problem, and one of the key reasons why municipalities are doing so badly. This is less of a challenge at national level. But services are rendered at local level, and that's where it matters most. As I pointed out earlier, race cannot be used as an absolute barrier. That is wrong. If a suitably qualified targeted person cannot be found, then another should be appointed. EE is not about excluding one group in favour of another. But about redressing the imbalances of the past. For example, it cannot be allowed to continue that out of about 900 pilots at SAA, 90% of them are white males. The remaining 10% is made up of white women, Africans, Indians and Coloureds.

      True South - 2014-11-05 22:04

      @Nikki, And I must hasten to say that there are many highly qualified and experienced black people who are overlooked because they're not connected. So, my view is that employment of unqualified people is not about race but about connections.

      True South - 2014-11-06 08:20

      @Nikki, You're 100% correct in saying that it's difficult to understand from another person's perspective. Which is why we need sober and matured conversations, like the one we just had, rather than (racial) insults that have become the norm in this forum. We must convince each other through logical arguments.

  • Tomorrowss Dreamss - 2014-11-05 18:38

    20+ years into democracy and South africa still have racial divisions and white business owners are EXCLUDED from BLACK BUSINESS OWNED TELEPHONE DIRECTORY for companies.

  • wikus.erasmus.545 - 2014-11-05 18:45


      steven.makhubo - 2014-11-05 20:15

      Ship... waiting

      steven.makhubo - 2014-11-05 20:15

      Ship>>Waiting for you

      Louis-Wilhelm van Heerden - 2014-11-05 20:41

      Holes...Holes in the border fence...waiting for you to return to central Africa...

  • Boitumelo Monareng - 2014-11-05 18:48

    bennie van der merwe pls die!!

      carmen.tatumm - 2014-11-05 18:51

      You black people are so racist!! Not all of you but most if you

      Cg Tours - 2014-11-05 20:10

      Where did you grandparents/parents go to the toilet?

      Johan Arno Cilliers - 2014-11-05 21:20

      You first

  • NoAbsolutes - 2014-11-05 18:54

    The reactions are assuming the allegations are true. "The toilets are always locked and before we can use them we have to ask for the keys from the white lady managing the building." Locking shared toilets is common practice - all you have to do is look at public toilets to see why. Would the complainer be happier if he had to ask a black lady?

      Michelle Mac Dougall - 2014-11-05 19:40

      Well said

  • dclangley - 2014-11-05 18:56

    I didn't realise state sponsored racism had ended. Not that I agree with what's happened. If true they will face the law, if the cops have any working vehicles of course

  • Johnson Marx - 2014-11-05 18:57

    chances of getting ebola in the "black " toilets is greater?

      Gerald Nchabeleng - 2014-11-05 20:36

      And so you should find the chances are even lower in Zurich South of France, hell, Alaska for crying out loud, so advice: catch a boat!

  • Michelle Mac Dougall - 2014-11-05 18:59

    Another case of somebody crying racism because they couldn't get their way. Locked bathrooms are common practice in South Africa, its not racism.

      James Mabote - 2014-11-05 19:09

      You're clearly retarded. Have you not read the article in its entirety, or do you have some defect that makes you unable to comprehend what you're reading? The people at the office park are protesting over the fact that: 1. There's a toilet reserved for "white" and coloured women only, while "black" women are not allowed to use it. 2. One "white" male has been allocated a toilet that he shares with no other person while "black" males have to share one. Whether or not access to any of these toilets is controlled is immaterial.

      Michelle Mac Dougall - 2014-11-05 19:30

      You are clearly jumping to conclusions, the one bathroom is allocated to the manager, this colour is irrelevant. This is the case in many businesses, including my office. My coloured employer has his own bathroom while his other 8 employees of mixed race have to share a bathroom. Should I cry racism too because my black boss has a bathroom that I, a white female, can not access?

      NoAbsolutes - 2014-11-05 19:32

      They are allegations, not established fact.

      James Mabote - 2014-11-05 20:02

      Michelle, Vleissentraal is a business park! This means that there's more than one business there, and obviously more than one manager. There are different kinds of businesses there and some are owned by black people, who manage them themselves, and are therefore managers! I know this because we have an office there. I spent 6 months there last year. Most of the businesses in that office park are owned by black people and the building owner has the nerve to treat them like this. You're the one who is jumping to conclusions here.

      Michelle Mac Dougall - 2014-11-05 20:10

      @ James, if you had lead with facts like that I would taken you seriously from the beginning, but calling me retarded because you don't agree with me makes you look like a fool. The article does not state that so it is understandable that not everybody knows that. You should also remember that there are different types of managers, some above others and some with different privileges. If this man is the manager of the business park he is still entitled to his own bathroom.

      Nana - 2014-11-06 10:07

      Do you think a racist would actually say it out loud in this day an age? its a toilet, dont they have cleaners? A colleague was working in a university where the toilet on their floor was always locked save for the white ladies who had the keys. She never used for the 2 years she was there. A new white lady started working in her department and used that toilet right away. True story. And this is not an unhygienic common black which your kind so dreads but an intellect who has travelled extensively throughout Africa and Europe. My former lecturer who is also a well travelled intellect left the university for its horrible covert and overt racist practice. Ramble all you want about locking your toilets a lot of South African whites are racist. My German and English have also confirmed this.

  • Boitumelo Monareng - 2014-11-05 19:03

    please im begging you,australia is waiting for the dutch rejects lyk u pleaaasssseee!!!!

      Cg Tours - 2014-11-05 20:16

      How about the upper Africa where you forefathers migrated from. YOU were never never ever in the W /Cape- so go back then for you as well to above the Limpopo. Khoi and San were here ,not your forefathers. We have every right here - and NO LESS than you !! So Sorry mate. YOU are the reject our forefathers brought YOU lot the development that you have today. What did your forefathers do? Read, write, build harbours, highways,infrastructure, sail ships read and write? NO !! There was sweet bugger all here in 1652 built by you lot. !!

      Boitumelo Monareng - 2014-11-05 20:28

      no wonder why the government doesn't take u serious!!im done with your "kind"pink colour

      steven.makhubo - 2014-11-05 20:45

      More like 'pig' skinned

      Louis-Wilhelm van Heerden - 2014-11-05 20:46

      Oh really? Now tell me why there is was an armada of blue uniforms at a Boeremag trial?

  • Bongani Nkosi - 2014-11-05 19:04

    But as blacks,we do not have personal higiene at all, toilets used by us are always dirty,we write the walls inside insulting others,we draw everything funny inside our toilets,we break locks,doors and leave our mess unflushed,no we need to change our behaviour first then we can start to complain.Even our our goveenment officials cannot use our toilets I bet.

      Portia Mabaso - 2014-11-05 19:49

      Bongani uyaphambana kwedini Ubu clean beToilet abunabala. Ngathi ngowuqala ngoflusha eyakho iTuwa if awuyenzi lonto. Yeka ukuncwakuza wethu

      Thapelo Sebola-Ndlovu Ntsebeng - 2014-11-05 20:52

      Just because who were raised in a different environment, doesn't mean we should be dicriminated against. Your environment makes you who you are, with that said we still human with equal rights. You cannot solve existing problems by discrimating against, you so focused on getting likes that you ignore the cause instead you dwell on the problem.

  • Anne Pretorius - 2014-11-05 19:10

    Jafta, I will be nice and only call you short-sighted! I will ask you whether Europe, America, etc. is only for whites! Need I say more? I will be very surprised if there is any truth in this story. Usually businesses guard the toilets for the benifit of the people who rent and work in the building. And I would hate to share toilet facilities (outside of my house or that of friends and family) with men!

  • Nadiaa Moosa - 2014-11-05 19:12

    This story is causing a stink. Every pun intended.

  • J Bean Bean - 2014-11-05 19:14

    BBBEE Black management forum Black lawyers association Dry your eyes you black people and get on with life, you exclude yourselves when it suits you and cry fowl when it doesn't, unequal scales!

      Cg Tours - 2014-11-05 20:20

      YES, NOBODY else is responsible for them being born who they are and their circumstances- but the two people that created them. - go and speak to their parents !( If they know who the father is off course.)Stop feeling sorry for yourselves. Other races in South Africa do not. No Chinese, Indians, whites, Asians/Malays are also moaning like the Blacks and the other races are getting sick and tired of YOUR Problems with being WHO YOU ARE and BLACK.! Get on with your lives man.

      Louis-Wilhelm van Heerden - 2014-11-05 20:26

      You forgot to mention the impending "Black Toilet Users Association" that is going to be formed after this incident!

      steven.makhubo - 2014-11-05 20:52

      Whites are now BEE cry babies from now on

  • Plastiek Spies - 2014-11-05 19:24

    Discrimination yes, black woman and men have their own segregated toilet but white and coloured woman must share.

      KgoeteLephuru - 2014-11-05 19:32

      Utheth' ukunya Plastiek Spies but with a name like that I'm not at all surprised.

  • Kekae Refilwe - 2014-11-05 19:25

    Toilets should b kept nice and clean. And there is one way of doing that. Lock them up. As long as you are not being racist about them.

  • Klein Swartbooi - 2014-11-05 19:29

    A rather crappy state of affairs in louis trichardt

  • Vinodh Maharaj - 2014-11-05 19:37

    What colour is the poop?

      Cg Tours - 2014-11-05 20:25

      Depends who poos there and how they leave it afterwards and whether they were brought up with toilets and hygiene in their family homes and responsibility and respectability!!

  • Julio Sanfona - 2014-11-05 19:42

    This is sensationalism South African style. If the story is true it is obviously wrong but why don't the authorities show the same enthusiasm to expose and combat corruption, nepotism, fraud, tender rigging and everything else this government does?

  • Tumelo Boroto - 2014-11-05 19:45

    Ouh My God, Racism on this platform is on another level!. White people are racist not all but majority of them.

      Gugulethu Lupuwana - 2014-11-05 20:26

      Tumelo you must be new in town - Welcome to News24 Town. where all the placards of pretence shown during the daytime are taken down. It will be easy to learn the language of the town. Its not has complicated as the queen's language.

      steven.makhubo - 2014-11-05 20:38

      True and I know many people that were originally welcoming to all races but after being on N24 they hate their fellow countrymen both Africans Europeans Indians, And Coloureds

      steven.makhubo - 2014-11-05 20:53

      Yes indeed Johnny 'BEE cry baby' Johnson

      William Steven Pearson - 2014-11-06 11:05

      How do you know the majority is, can you count?

      Moi - 2014-11-06 14:45

      So it's just the white people making racist comments, no one else?

  • Eidel Bock - 2014-11-05 19:50

    Amazing that the same people always complain about racism.

  • Jabu Masuluke - 2014-11-05 19:59

    Bennie van der merwe is a boer,he will always protect Boers,I was also in the same situation I know ,Boers don't like to share with blacks,this guy use to lock the toilet as I was new I thot it was not working until someone tell me after many months,Boers don't like black,lets be honest ..this story is not an allegation is true

      Cg Tours - 2014-11-05 20:32

      BOERS do not like filth, destruction and DIRT and pollution maybe and definitely NOT stinking dirty toilets. WHY are the public toilets in this Country so disgusting? WHO are the majority in this Country using them? Why are they then in such a state?YET toilets in other areas are immaculate.

      Kirsty Prinsloo - 2014-11-06 07:11

      Cg Tours - the public bathrooms may be in such a state because they are public bathrooms and do not have adequate cleaning based on its use. A persons colour does not determine their hygiene level. Traveling abroad I found many public toilets just as disgusting as ones in South Africa.

      Nana - 2014-11-06 10:16

      So black people = Dity loos? Pathetic bunch of losers. Orania is waiting for you at least you can put your guard down and your toilets unlocked there

  • Toinette Muller - 2014-11-05 20:05

    Bla bla bla....same old story...don't you get tired? As if yiu never say bad things about whites. I keep forgetting...

  • Toinette Muller - 2014-11-05 20:07

    At least we are not cry babies. Crying over everything but never important stuff...

      steven.makhubo - 2014-11-05 20:18

      Oh really????

  • Frans Mosia - 2014-11-05 20:27

    Why must the manager have his own toilet? Is it because of his poo is different?

  • Cg Tours - 2014-11-05 20:39

    With Ebola and other diseases, I would like to use a toilet where there is an attendant and where it is disinfected when I enter. I will pay for that!Public toilets are disgusting mostly and I would NEVER use them. Just shows the pigs,uneducated in hygiene and the uncivilized that are still in majority here. Otherwise why are these public toilets in such a mess? Never found that in Singapore where we lived for some time or many other Countries- but a FACT in Africa. Used to sitting behind bushes maybe ?. !

      Moi - 2014-11-06 14:48

      No, I've seen/been to some really disgusting toilets in the UAE and the UK. This isn't an African trend. There's always those people that are just absolutely disgusting and don't have any consideration for the other people that have to use the facilities.

  • Richard Young - 2014-11-05 20:51

    Well said!

  • Anthonie Le Roux - 2014-11-05 22:11

    reading these commends just show the mentality of a black man, always blaming it on the white man?

      steven.makhubo - 2014-11-05 22:29

      And white man always blaming BEE where it doesn't apply. You lot are the true racists and you know that deep down very well. You must just go find your own planet since you so allergic to the African race

  • Nemo Niemand - 2014-11-05 22:54

    Jip. And a black man cannot be a racist. Im wasting my breath on you Steven. You are racist. End of story.

  • Nthabiseng Fanyane - 2014-11-05 23:43

    Platform for "Racial Slurs" SIES man!!!News 24 is this "Freedom of speech"? I doubt.

  • Sisanda Nomusa Qwabe-Coutaud - 2014-11-06 05:22

    This is shocking... even the fact that there are people who believe it is ok to so because of BEE and other related... Well I guess some people are less educated to even know the purpose for those laws is to eliminate the gap opened during the apartheuid and make sure we are all equal, and hence there is BEE and EE jobs...

  • Lunetic Mental - 2014-11-06 07:05

    and AA has nothing to do with race????? Hipocrites!!!

  • Kirsty Prinsloo - 2014-11-06 07:24

    While I would understand having a staff toilet and a public toilet separate, it does make me wonder why all the toilets are not being maintained in a similar fashion. I also have issue with this comment "Van der Merwe said some tenants had keys to the toilets and that more would be copied for the rest of the tenants." Why would tenants not have access to a key - frankly why should any adult have to ask permission to go to the bathroom. If there were staff toilets separated by gender - then the tenant should be given two keys for their staff. If the building management staff want their own toilet fine - let them have a separate key for that - but to treat tenants like that is degrading no matter what their sex or race.

  • arthur.salvado - 2014-11-06 08:23

    Good. That's WOMAN on the left and MEN on the right. Sorted

  • Chris Vermaak - 2014-11-06 10:33

    Nowhere is it clearly stated whether these are private or public facilities. I will decide who uses my private facilities and nobody else has any say about it. My home toilet, for instance, is used by people I know and trust. Black or white. If the majority of my trusted friends are white it has nothing to do with anybody.

  • Craig Pedersen - 2014-11-06 12:03

    oh wow.. so he as an "executive loo" I'm so glad this is online and not printed. would have been a terrible waste of paper.

  • Neliswa Skenjana Breiter - 2014-11-06 14:35

    Only in South Africa can whites be so stupid.. Total imbecile comments, I'm sure their feaces are white and their pee is white as well... Some white people hv disgusting habits too,I see it all the time here in Germany. STOP STEREOTYPING, YOUR BLOOD IS RED LIKE MINE....

      Moi - 2014-11-06 14:50

      Neliswa, if you're going to reprimand folk for their comments, please ensure that you reprimand all involved.

      Neliswa Skenjana Breiter - 2014-11-06 15:05

      This is exactly we why people will keep on voting ANC not because they like it but because of racist comments and stereotypes from mostly whites that I read on here. Comparing this to BEE is the most stupid thing I ever heard...

  • Pamela Angeline Harvey - 2014-11-06 18:31

    This is not BEE but PEE! Now the race card is out on Toilet Business.

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