Khayelitsha residents welcome SJC social audit report

| Mary-Anne Gontsana
Photo courtesy of SJC Social Audit report.

The community of BM Section in Khayelitsha came out in their numbers to listen to the report by the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) on sanitation services in the township.

The SJC and Ndifuna Ukwazi held a press conference in the informal settlement to release the report on Wednesday.

One of the key findings of the report was that one in four flush toilets audited was not working.

Twenty-six-year-old Sipho Zembe has been living in BM Section for 25 years. She says that before the flush toilets were installed, they used an open field behind the toilets to relieve themselves.

“Nothing much has changed now that the toilets have been installed because they don’t work properly; some of them do not work at all; they are not cleaned and there are about 15 families to one toilet,” said Zembe.

Most of the green flush toilets were locked, said Zembe, and when one wanted to use the toilets, they had to go around the neighbourhood to see who last used the key.

“It is also dangerous using these toilets at night because I live on top of the hill about 10 minutes away from these toilets. I cannot come here during the night, because at times you find that the one toilet that is not locked is either not working or it is dirty,” said Zembe.

She said in an emergency they used the portaloo, which according to her was not dignified, because she had to watch her father at times using the portable toilet as they live together in a shack.

Luthando Tokota from BM Section of the SJC, who took part in the social audit, said that as residents, they felt anger towards the City of Cape Town because of the conditions of the toilets. He believed that the demands stated in the social audit report were possible for the City to meet.

Imali Yethu project manager Axolile Notywala, who addressed residents and the media at the release of the report, said that the City had already had two years to improve the toilet situation in Khayelitsha.

“We have plans in place to challenge the provision of toilets in Cape Town if the City does not meet our demands.”

The demands include: all janitors receive the required personal protective equipment, tools and equipment; all janitors be inoculated; all toilets in BM Section, BT Section, PSJ and Nkanini be repaired so that they are in proper working condition; within four weeks, complete and release the janitorial service implementation.

SJC members (from left to right) Luthando Tokota, Nomlungisi Qezo and Axolile Notywala speak at a press conference held in Khayelitsha about the release of the social audit report on janitorial services. Picture by Masixole Feni

Read GroundUp’s report on the SJC audit here

TOPICS:  Civil Society Health Sanitation Social Audit

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