Hundreds share one working toilet in Khayelitsha neighbourhood

Shortage of inoculations prevents toilets from being serviced

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Photo of toilets
Zukiswa Madolo showed GroundUp the toilets in Ndlovini. Photo: Vincent Lali

Hundreds of shack dwellers share one toilet in Ndlovini informal settlement, Khayelitsha. The other toilets are either blocked, damaged or too filthy to use. Resident Zukiswa Madolo says this has been the case since last year.

Madolo says every morning and evening a queue of residents forms at the one functional toilet. Queues start at 5am and only thin out by 8am. In the morning, many in the queue are children wanting to use the toilet before leaving for school.

“When the queue is too long, I convince some of the toilet users to go with me to the bushes to relieve ourselves,” says Madolo.

A nearby land occupation has increased demand for toilets. Resident Mazola Mthimkhulu said, “Even before the land occupiers came, the toilets were too few as about 200 residents were using them … Residents from other areas where toilets don’t exist also feel the need to defecate, so they break our padlocks and gain entry into the toilets.”

Residents get water from a nearby communal tap and use it to flush the toilet. But Mthimkhulu said in June the water supply was off for about three weeks.

“Residents could not get water from the water tap located beside the toilets to flush or tidy them up, and the shit piled up,” he said.

Mthimkhulu said some residents are building their own pit latrines because the communal toilets don’t work.

Mayoral Committee Member for Area East Councillor Anda Ntsodo said the City of Cape Town blames private users for the water outage in June. “The City investigated the matter and found that the disruption in water supply was mainly due to the reduction in pressure in the adjacent reticulation network which is caused by many factors including illegal connections by private users.”

“With regard to toilet cleaning, the City’s top-up janitorial service in the area has been suspended due to challenges with the procurement of inoculations,” said Ntsodo.

Last week, GroundUp reported how toilets had not been cleaned in K2 informal settlement. The City also said this was due to challenges with inoculations.

New shacks are going up near Ndlovini. Photo: Vincent Lali

TOPICS:  Sanitation

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