Woman breaks leg while trying to use communal toilet

“I was in so much pain”, says Khayelitsha woman

Photo of toilet with green door

Taiwan informal settlement resident Nolundi Philiso broke her leg going into the toilet on the right. Since then residents have filled the hole with stones. Photo: Sibusiso Mdlankomo

By Mary-Anne Gontsana

13 November 2018

Just over a month after a resident of Taiwan informal settlement was trapped inside a communal flush toilet when it toppled over, another resident broke her leg while trying to use one of the toilets.

Residents of Taiwan in Khayelitsha say most of the toilets there are old and no longer stable.

Nolundi Philiso says when she entered the toilet last week she slipped and her leg slid into a hole between the ground and the toilet.

“I was in so much pain and could not stand or walk. I was helped by other residents and taken home,” said Philiso.

At the clinic she was told her leg was broken. She has been staying with her aunt until her leg is operated on. “The doctor says they will have to put in screws in my leg because it is damaged,” she said.

“I have been living in Taiwan for about a year and ever since I started living there, the toilets have been like that, loose. But we have no other alternative, we have to use them no matter what condition they are in,” said Philiso.

GroundUp reported in September how Vuyiswa Nofuma was trapped in a toilet, also in Taiwan informal settlement, when it fell over with her inside.

Community leader Thandi Jolingana said since that incident the toilets had still not been fixed by the City of Cape Town though problems had been reported “countless times”. Philiso on the other hand told GroundUp that she had not reported her incident to the City.

The City’s media manager, Luthando Tyhalibongo said representatives from the City’s Informal Settlements Department had met the ward councillor and community leaders on Tuesday 30 October 2018 about the toilets.

“It was agreed that a site visit with the maintenance teams should be undertaken. This site visit is scheduled for 15 November 2018, after which point the City can respond in more detail.”