No more squatting in the veld

BASIC NEED: Mamoyahabo Rasetsoke, 72, of Bolobedu outside her new toilet. Pic. Alex Matlala. © Sowetan.
BASIC NEED: Mamoyahabo Rasetsoke, 72, of Bolobedu outside her new toilet. Pic. Alex Matlala. © Sowetan.

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

The days of walking through thick bush to find a place to relieve themselves are over for the residents of Bolobedu, near Tzaneen, in Limpopo.

For generations, the community has used undergrowth as a toilet.

Some villagers had to walk more than 5km to relieve themselves. At night, or on rainy days, some would use plastic bags and newspapers.

But all this has become history after 5000 families were given cement pit toilets by the Greater Letaba Municipality.

A total of 4636 pit toilets were given to residents in the 26 wards of the municipality - a move that sent residents celebrating.

Equally excited were the 500 young men and women who built the toilets - they received payments for their work that have been due since December.

Most of the families are from poor backgrounds and had no toilets.

Those who built their own saw them destroyed by the storms that wreaked havoc in the area.

After receiving her toilet, Mamoyahabo Rasetsoke, 72, of Bolobedu, said: "Thanks to Moshole Business Solutions and Mopani municipality for their thoughtful gift.

"I never thought I would one day own a toilet of my own."

Mamotlatso Pilusa, 53, of Mohlabaneng village, in Bolobedu, was also ecstatic.

The partially blind Pilusa said: "I normally use plastic bags and newspapers to relieve myself.

"When my grandchildren come back from school they clean up my mess."

According to Isaac Moshole, managing director of Moshole Business Solutions, construction started in 2005 with 1750 toilets.

"We were moved by the number of people who had no toilets so we built additional ones," said Moshole.

The mayor of Greater Letaba, Joshua Matlou, said his municipality planned that by 2008 no resident would have to use the veld as a toilet.

"We are working tirelessly everyday to make sure that every citizen of this municipality has access to basic needs, such as sanitation, water and electricity," he said.