Closure of men's toilets at Uitenhage taxi rank causes a stink

2018-09-18 10:02
Women at the Uitenhage taxi rank and bus terminus say they are scared to use the toilets they now share with men when the men’s toilet is closed due to plumbing problems. (Joseph Chirume, GroundUp)

Women at the Uitenhage taxi rank and bus terminus say they are scared to use the toilets they now share with men when the men’s toilet is closed due to plumbing problems. (Joseph Chirume, GroundUp)

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Commuters at the Uitenhage taxi rank and bus terminus, as well as nearby shopkeepers, are calling on the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to urgently reopen the men's public toilet.

According to GroundUp, the toilet was closed months ago due to water pressure difficulties, and men are now using the female toilets.

The taxi rank is one of the busiest commuter centres in the metro and it is shared with long-distance taxis and Algoa Bus Company inter-town busses.

Aretha Migguels, a fruit and vegetable vendor at the rank, said: "I am always afraid to use these toilets because of men who use them. There is a beer tavern at the taxi rank that often results in rowdy behaviour."

READ: Khayelitsha shack dwellers building their own toilets and roads

A cleaner at the toilet, who did not want to be named, said: "There are municipal workers who clean the female toilets and collect R1 per toilet user. Their presence does not help anything because there are aggressive and violent men who force their way into the toilets."

A shopkeeper, who also did not want to be named, said: "Some men have the tendency of urinating on the walls of our shops. There is a stench all over and this is not healthy for our business. The municipality should disinfect the area every morning."

Spokesperson for the municipality Mthubanzi Mniki said: "These toilets are continuously vandalised. Some taps on the basins are not working. The water in the urinals is running continuously as the stopper is not working.

"The car wash guys are installing hose pipes to the basins using the same water to wash cars and taxis."

READ MORE: No toilets for refugees while new offices for Cape Town in pipeline

Mniki added: "The public toilets in Durban Road taxi rank were … temporarily closed in June, August and the beginning of September due to low water pressure which resulted in the toilets not flushing at all. The plumber has been called several times to look at the problem and they confirmed that the problem is the water pressure and the flushing mechanism used.

"Currently, only three out of eight male toilets are flushing and four out of eleven toilets from the female side are flushing."

He said a quotation for repairs, using a different flushing system, was expected to be received this week.

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