New toilets dangerous and useless
RESIDENTS of an informal settlement in Soweto say the municipality has left them in a stink after promising them proper toilets.
Holomisa Camp dwellers are fed up with the non-delivery of services.
The informal settlement in Klipspruit, Soweto, has been in existence since 1990 and residents say the City of Johannesburg installed toilets that have turned their lives into a misery.
"These toilets were built last year in September or October but have not been cleaned or serviced since then," block committee leader Xoliswa Ngwaqa said.
Ngwaqa also said they were not given any chemicals to pour into the toilets.
The informal settlement has about 400 shacks with several people living in each shack. There are 450 toilets for their use.
Johannesburg Water spokesperson Millicent Kabwe said a tender had been procured for "VIP" toilets to be installed in various areas.
Kabwe said "chemical toilets" don't flush but are serviced with a chemical twice a week. She denied claims that the toilets had not been maintained but promised to investigate.
Residents claim that before the new toilets were installed they had made use of what they referred to as "Easy Loo" toilets.
"Those toilets were cleaned and serviced every single week, either on a Monday or a Tuesday.
We expected the new toilets to be better. We actually miss those old ones," Ngwaqa said.
Other residents are fearful for their health and that of their children.
"Some toilets don't have seats so there is a hole where children can fall in," Mpho Lepekola said.
Another resident said the children were badly affected because they now had skin problems due to the unsanitary condition of the place.
Adding to their woes, pools of dirty water collect at various points in the settlement when it rains because there are no storm water drains.
Rubbish was not collected either and there pigs roamed the area, feasting on what they find on the rubbish dump.
Angry residents said because they had not protested like other communities it was assumed that they had just accepted the situation.
"We have been living like this for years but that does not mean they can forget about all of us," Buyiswa Mavaba said.
"We condemn the fact that people should live like this 18 years after democracy. It is appalling that people are subjected to this standard of living," said DA shadow MMC for housing in Johannesburg Tsepo Mhlongo.
He advises the residents to write a petition and send it to their municipality so their concerns can be met. - email@example.com