Toilet stink still hanging in the air

A NEW scandal has erupted around the open toilets at Rammulotsi village in Free State, where moves to deal with the problem have gone awry.

Yesterday, Sowetan witnessed the demolition of 150 enclosures after inspectors discovered that the contractor had used only one bag of cement instead of the required two bags when erecting them.

The enclosures will have to be rebuilt at an estimated cost of just under R1million.

The contractor is still to account for the missing building material.

The hazardous brick enclosures, it was also found, had no brickforce to stabilise and fortify the structures. This means that with enough pressure against the enclosures, the entire edifice would have come crumbling down while a person was still in the loo.

Sowetan arrived in the now infamous township at the crack of dawn, only to be met by a group of about 20 builders armed with giant sledgehammers.

However, it took one man only a few seconds to flatten a single enclosure to the ground.

Rammulotsi gained notoriety in May following a newspaper exposé revealing that a company linked to the husband of ousted mayor Mantebu Mokgosi built 1620 unenclosed toilets as far back as 2003.

When the scandal broke, the municipality claimed it had enclosed 378 toilets and still needed to enclose a further 1 242 at a cost of about R8million - meaning it would enclose each toilet at a cost of R6441.

The contractor, whose toilets were being demolished and rebuilt yesterday, received a contract to enclose 1 200 toilets - meaning he may have pocketed about R7,7million for the job.

Sowetan understands that 162 toilets still stand unenclosed

Yesterday the contractor, Pini Motale, told Sowetan that he had inspected the toilets and found that only 40 have been poorly built.

Motale also took a swipe at Sowetan, accusing the paper of writing negative stories about the provincial government on the insistence of the Democratic Alliance.

"I have a problem with Sowetan. Every time you come here, it's because of the DA."

Motale confirmed that his builders had used only one bag of cement and did not use brickforce when building the enclosures.

DA councillor Mosa Makoele demanded to know whether public money would be used to rebuild the toilets. "Who is responsible for rebuilding the toilets?" Makoele asked.

But Motale said: "The cost of rebuilding these toilets will actually result in a loss to me. It won't cost the municipality or the province anything."