Fifty families share two toilets in Taiwan, Khayelitsha

Toilets have not been cleaned for five weeks

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Residents say the toilets in Taiwan informal settlement in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, have not been cleaned for five weeks. Photo: Nombulelo Damba-Hendrik

Residents in Taiwan informal settlement in Khayelitsha Site C, Cape Town, say their toilets have not been cleaned for five weeks. More than 50 families are now sharing two communal flush toilets.

The City of Cape Town Mayco Member for Water and Sanitation Zahid Badroodien blamed a delay in the delivery of boots for the cleaners. He said cleaners will be appointed as soon as the boots, which are essential for the workers to perform their duties, arrive.

He said contracts for Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers employed to provide janitorial services ended for the area in mid-March and the City is still finalising the new candidate list for Taiwan. It will only appoint people once the boots arrive.

When GroundUp visited the area, there was a foul stench and filthy water from the dirty toilets ran down the road. We saw children queuing to use the two working toilets. One carried a five-litre bucket of water to flush the loo.

“In the afternoon you will see more of these children queuing to use the toilet. And this is a health hazard,” said resident Sikholise Booi.

She said residents had not been informed as to why there are no new toilet cleaners.

Booi said the toilets are insufficient in any event, and it is worse now that they are not cleaned.

“For weeks we have been using two toilets. Chances are by next week we will only be left with one toilet to share or we will use blocked toilets,” she said.

Resident Mlamli Mandlenkosi said many people, including himself, have stopped using the toilets and now relieve themselves near the N2 highway.

“These toilets are not locked; anyone can use them … Two of them have leaks. Only the toilet cleaners know who to call when they are blocked or have leaks,” he said.

Badroodien said the department has been in contact with the ward councillor, who had discussed the matter with the community.

Ward 87 Councillor Khayalethu Kama (ANC) said the process of hiring new cleaners had started, but could only be finalised once the City received all the protective gear for the workers.

TOPICS:  Sanitation

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