Open loos for open society
AS THE municipal elections drew nearer, Guluva pulled one of the biggest scoops the other day when he got the Machine Gun Man and Godzille under one roof to open up on one of the sticking (read stinking) points dominating the headlines ahead of the polls - the open-toilet debacle
The following is a transcript of the "debate":
Guluva: Let's start with you, Mr Prez. Are you not ashamed of the stink that came with the open-toilet scandal in .?
Machine Gun Man: (Interrupts) No, no, no! You see, in the Ain't Seen Nothing Yet, we have an open-door policy. We also believe in an open society. If you believe in a transparent and open society, it follows that you will also have an open-toilet policy, for example.
Godzille: I fully agree. We in the De Lille-Zille Connection are committed to dismantling all barriers inhibiting the move towards the creation of an open society. race barriers, gender barriers, etc.
Now, if you build walls around our people's toilets, you are creating another set of barriers, the same barriers we want to do away with. We can't allow these little Berlin walls around our people's toilets.
Machine Gun Man: (Interrupts): I concur. I often tell my friends, including the Guptas and the Shaiks, that walled toilets remind me of my Robben Island cell. It was very a restrictive environment.
There was no freedom of movement. Now that we have attained our freedom, why do we have to subject our people to the same restrictive conditions that we went through on the island?
Godzille: You're right. Just look at the Germans. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, they are living freely in an open society. No East Germany. No West Germany. The same freedom and openness can be achieved in our country if we demolish these Berlin walls around people's toilets.
Machine Gun Man: We must also move away from this silo mentality to an open-plan philosophy. Everyone, especially in business, will tell you that operating in silos does not work.
People must have the freedom to engage and interact with others at all times. If you have walls around your toilet, for example, you have already compartmentalised yourself into a silo and can't interact with others at that time. That can't be right.
Guluva: But people are angry, Mr Prez. They see these toilets as demeaning and an affront to their dignity. So it definitely can't be right.
Machine Gun Man: I don't disagree. Our open-toilet pilot project in Rammulotsi was started in 2003. That's eight years ago. Throughout that time we did not get a sense that our people were against this move to an open society.
It was only after some nosy journalists went there that there was this controversy. I must say - to use an unsavoury language that I as a reverend am not comfortable with, but which is appropriate in this case - that's when the shit hit the fan.
Guluva: And you, Madame Godzille? The court has ruled that the City of Cape Town, which you control, violated the residents' human and constitutional rights when it built open toilets in Makhaza, which I believe was also a pilot project.
Godzille: Maybe we have to change the Constitution. While we abide by the court's ruling, we still believe in the creation of an open society. I have a confession to make, though: I didn't know we had so much in common with the ruling party.