Minister promises an end to system in six months

Boitumelo Tshehle

Boitumelo Tshehle

Six months from now North West citizens will say good bye to bucket toilets.

This was the promise by the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, Lindiwe Hendricks, during the opening of the provincial sanitation summit at the Mmabatho Convention Centre yesterday.

Hendricks assured North West communities, which have been complaining about having to use the bucket system, that their patience would soon be rewarded.

"We are left with only six months to meet the target and I will not go to the president and tell him that we are unable to meet it," she said.

The minister said that if necessary she, the MEC, the mayor and councillors should roll-up their sleeves to ensure that this did not happen.

"We cannot afford to disappoint our people who have waited years for basic services," she said.

Hendricks also spoke of the need for public awareness of the problems of the bucket system.

"You should be aware of the health and social risks of not having RDP levels of sanitation, and the problems of not having access to potable water," she said.

Hendricks expressed her concern that most communities had not welcomed the ventilated pit-latrine system.

She said that communities should be aware that it was not always possible to provide water-borne sanitation and that municipalities should examine the issues of sustainable water resources.

A spokesman for the department of local government and housing reported that the bucket system had already been abandoned in the Makwassi Hills area.