W Cape toilet saga continues in court

2011-03-11 18:08

Cape Town - The controversial installation of unenclosed toilets in the Western Cape's Makhaza settlement was flawed, but not unconstitutional, counsel for the province's human settlements MEC told the Western Cape High Court on Friday.

Senior counsel Sean Rosenberg said the unenclosed toilets were undesirable for a number of reasons, but nevertheless a practical solution to a pressing problem.

And, although flawed, the solution was not a breach of the constitutional right to dignity.

Two Makhaza residents, Andile Lili and Andiswa Ncani, have asked the court to declare that the open toilets installed at Makhaza a violation of their constitutional right to dignity, and that an agreement reached between the City of Cape Town and individual members of the Makhaza community is unlawful and unconstitutional.

They also want the court to order the enclosure of all toilets installed at the settlement.

The seven respondents in the application include the Western Cape premier, Cape Town's mayor, the City itself and the provincial human settlements MEC. The province is administered by the DA.

The agreement was for the residents to enclose the individual household toilets themselves, rather than have one enclosed toilet for five households to share

The court was told on Wednesday that 96% of Makhaza's residents had accepted the unenclosed toilets, which they had enclosed themselves as per their agreement with the city.


Rosenberg said to Judge Nathan Erasmus that the problem was a "telling example of the failure of the National Housing Code to address or provide guidelines for temporary services".

He said the occupation of such a settlement, without formal sanitation, would be intolerable.

The picture painted in the proceedings of sanitation in settlements throughout the country, warranted some kind of intervention, he said.

He submitted that Lili and Ncani had no case.

At the close of proceedings on Friday afternoon, the city's counsel, David Borgstrom, made the point that the city did not defend the installation of open toilets.

He said the agreement between the city and community leaders at the settlement, for the installation of unenclosed toilets for each household, which the households would enclose themselves, was not a violation of the rights of the residents to dignity; the question was simply whether the city had done the installation properly.

"If the city has done it incorrectly, it welcomes the court telling it so."

The installation had been done in terms of the national Housing Code, and if the code itself was deficient in any respect, the court had to say so. The court had to look at what was actually done, and decide if it was reasonable.

Lili had been party to the agreement between the city and community leaders at Makhaza, and had been "gratuitous and opportunistic" to jump on the bandwagon and say the toilets were a violation of their right to dignity, Borgstrom said.

The ANC Youth League took exception to the unenclosed toilets and last year started ripping the walls down of enclosed toilets and smashing them.

They also objected to walls made of corrugated iron and wood.

Judgment was reserved.

  • Eric West - 2011-03-11 18:50

    What about the hundreds of open toilets, erected by the ANC, in places like Viljoenskroon?

  • Madelane - 2011-03-11 18:57

    And more taxpayers money wasted on the gleefully hand wringing attorneys over a political jostling match.....little to do with toilets yadda yadda yadda

  • Sword&Cross - 2011-03-11 19:07

    Of course, we have all known this fact all along. What we want to know, is firstly if Malema and the ANCYL actions to instruct the demolition was unconstitutional, AND secondly, if malema dropped his bottom lip in the township, would that have been sufficient area to defecate on?

      Monica - 2011-03-11 19:20

      Malema should marry Khanyi Mabau; the drama queens can occupy each other! It is time he takes a wife!

      Tunkisi - 2011-03-11 20:06

      Lo siento por cada persona blanca en este país....

      Maddy-CT - 2011-03-11 21:53

      Translation: It is felt by each white person in this country...

  • jannie - 2011-03-11 19:10

    The people agreed to the DA erecting the toilets. Everything was fine, until the ANC youthleague, ordered by the ANC, destroyed the toilets, intimidated the people to destroy the toilets and protest. It is absolutely pathetic and shocking that the ANC is using this as a political tool to get to the DA. I say the DA should do the same in ALL ANC controlled areas...

      Tunkisi - 2011-03-11 19:23

      How sad!

  • Monica - 2011-03-11 19:15

    There was an agreement in place. Why after these toilets were put in place; only then the complaints came. People offered to enclose it themselves and most of them did. Then the ANCYL came and destroyed some toilets. You cannot trust anything that black people agree to; today they say a; tomorrow they change their story and it will be z. I have paid for houses for my staff and they turned around and said it just cost money. They do not want in anymore! When is the "want" not paying money for it; going to end; once they get it; they want more and more and more!!!

      Tunkisi - 2011-03-11 19:25

      What's your IQ again???????

  • Slapper - 2011-03-11 19:38

    Its amazing that they target the Western Cape, when hundreds of thousands in ANC ruled provinces to not have any toilets, Water, Electricity, Housing Etc. Why are these problems not highlighted?

      Tunkisi - 2011-03-11 19:43

      Because all our politician are in it for themselves.

  • Thabiso - 2011-03-11 20:53

    DA (Dumb Arses), who would vote for someone who violates the constitution.

      Maddy-CT - 2011-03-11 22:27

      You support the ANC, Thabiso? Between 2000-2005 when the ANC was in control in Cape Town, they erected 4192 open toilets in the Brown's Farm area in Philippi, to be enclosed by the community. The open toilets they built in Rammulatsi (Viljoenskroon) as far back as 2001 have still not been covered and the community there are using pit latrines. Why the hypocrisy, Thabiso - where is your self-respect?

      Michael - 2011-03-14 21:33

      ANC=Apartheids New Camouflage

  • Macho Mike - 2011-03-11 21:20

    Eish, hier kom kak with this issue.

  • Paul - 2011-03-11 21:36

    It is just the ANCYL causing trouble as usual, bunch of idiots..

  • Macho Mike - 2011-03-11 21:47

    I think these tuilets should have been Nationalised.

  • Carl Muller - 2011-03-11 21:48

    The DA has the money to rectify this.. But they want to show that they are right F them....

      v3 - 2011-03-14 21:43

      Don't be an utter @-hole. Political parties collect money to staff their own admin, research, etc and for posters and publicity. Service delivery should be funded by the rates- or taxpayers. The DA has not abused its position to amass wealth like the ANC in Chancellor House or the Union investment companies, any one of which could have housed the entire population of Makhaza from their petty cash. The whole issue is a set-up by the ANCYL, like other ANC dirty tricks to get back the province.

  • Macho Mike - 2011-03-11 21:49

    I think that these toilets should have been Nationalised.

  • Thabiso - 2011-03-11 23:24

    no! I do not support any political party, my grandmother lives in the rural Limpopo, she has her own rural toilet that gets filled after every two decades, I do not have a reason why I must vote for a political party, I know how to make a rural toilet atleast. the DA saga can only get solved by the court. I do not know which is the guilty party, I am only having a good time joking around.

      Michael - 2011-03-14 21:36

      Thabiso, you are the joke!

  • Anonymous User - 2011-03-12 04:43

    Bring back apartheid!

      VM1 - 2011-03-12 08:28

      in your dreams red neck ! ! !

      Cynical Sci - 2011-03-13 19:34

      Get bent

  • jaycee - 2011-03-12 08:49

    The DA must try and get the most benefit from this travesty of dignity that the ANC(YL) demanded. Stretch this publicity to the full to show up the ANYL for the politically selfish (and idiotic) scum on the SA political stage that they are.

      Maddy-CT - 2011-03-13 19:50

      The R100m spent by the ANCYL on the Youth Festival kissing games would have paid for 1000 toilets enclosed in RDP houses!

  • Yonela - 2011-03-12 10:17

    I must say that really, erecting unenclosed toilets for a community is just human-dignity mockery!

      isabeljones101 - 2011-03-12 11:02

      See, that's what happens when there are too many people and not enough budget (Taxpayers hard-earned money) for all the freebies the masses expect - free houses, free healthcare, education, feed, child support (don't breed 'em if you can't feed 'em!), etc. We have become a welfare state of the worst kind. And the 'masses' cannot even take something that is provided in part for them and finish the job - they got the easy part ...enclosing their own toilet - no plumbing or supplying of the actual toilet, no having to share with 5 other households (and we all know how disgusting toilets can be when there are a multitude of users with no hygiene or 'clean-up-after-yourself' manners.) No work ethic, no desire to move onward and upward and improve one's lot in life. F-all ambition ... just live in the moment without thought for the future, or consequences of our actions, or lack thereof. A nation of losers ... apart from a few who have pulled themselves out of their circumstances through determination and hard work. You can either choose the high road, or the low road. We are all architects of our own destiny, so if your life is not what it should be, you only have yourself to blame!!

      Michael - 2011-03-14 21:39

      @Jonela...tell that to the ANC they do it,(unenclosed toilets), in every ANC run township every day.

  • porra 1 - 2011-03-12 16:27

    africa nacional circos parem com a merda ja esta a cheirar mal dignity uma merda so e aplicada nas casas de banho que feitas pela DA de acordo com os residentes dignity nao e aplicada quando o povo vem a cidade e tem a preguissa de entrar nas casas de banho e fazem dos cantos do predio a vista de todas as pessoas incluindo criansas as casas de banho dignity nao e aplicavel quando querem mudar a agua das azeitonas nao tem a educacao suficiente para virar as costas para a estrada a partir do governo ate ao mais gentio e tudo uma seita de estupido

  • porra 1 - 2011-03-12 16:48

    thabiso- jay - ancyl malema jz e a seita de ladroes que estao no governo sao uma seita de istupidos e voces estao a por a crus para eles na altura dos votos o que quer dizer voces sao mais burros do que eles se nao entendes o que estou a dizer arranja um programa que traduza visto esta lingua e falada por africa mais de 500 anos perceben istupidos

      Cynical Sci - 2011-03-13 19:31

      @ Porra 1: Eu gostava de suas postagens, obrigado. Eu admito que eu precisava usar um programa de tradução, mas valeu a pena o esforço. Eu culpo o programa se a tradução inversa está incorreto. Peço desculpas que eu não posso falar o idioma, embora eu estou atualmente tentando aprender os dinamarqueses e franceses. Você Sul Africano ou apenas observando, ou um observador Sul Africano?

  • porra 1 - 2011-03-12 17:22

    isabeljones 101 Obrigado falaste a verdade

      Tunkisi - 2011-03-12 17:47

      Supongo que tiene razón.....

      isabeljones101 - 2011-03-12 23:25

      Obrigada porra 1!

  • nandipha2 - 2011-03-14 21:47

    I hate the whole situation it's uncomfortable and so embarrassing, well this is how it is right nothing will ever change.

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