Bucket toilets to be dumped

Michael Tlhakudi

Michael Tlhakudi

Free State province has the largest bucket toilet system in the country and the problem lies squarely with municipalities that have failed to spend their allocated budgets during the last financial year.

This was revealed at a workshop held in Bloemfontein recently. It was aimed at finding ways to eradicate the 97000 bucket system toilets in the province.

The provincial government allocated R145million to get rid of the old system by installing a new waterborne system.

However, residents said they are tired of promises made by government officials every year.

Motheo District Municipality executive mayor Faniswa Chaine said that the bucket system is unhealthy.

"We need to work hard to remove it altogether. The system puts the community's health in jeopardy. We will have to work hand in hand with local government to deal with this problem," she said.

The system should have been removed a long time ago but some municipalities in the province failed to spend their allocated budgets.

"It is high time we starting working on being proactive rather than just being responding to the outcry," Chaine said.

She said planning and action should have been taken earlier.

New efforts to address the issue will come as a relief to the many communities affected by the problem.

However, people living in Grassland, in Bloemfontein, have not bought the story.

Theko Rampanyane, 25, told Sowetan that they had been waiting for the toilets for as long he could remember.

"Every time we are promised the toilets, nothing happens," said Rampanyane.

Rampanyane's mother, Thandi Rampanyane, was equally angry and frustrated. She said their living conditions were sub-human.

"We get a lot of diseases from this system," she said.

"Our health is at risk here and we are pleading with the government to provide us with flushing toilets" she said.

But Chaine said that all these issues will be resolved once the infrastructural development programme that is meant to tackle these shortcomings in the province is put in place.