Mayor handed sanitation petition on eve of budget speech

SJC members march in Cape Town

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Photo of marchers in Cape Town
Members of the Social Justice Coalition marched in Cape Town ahead of the City’s budget tomorrow. Photo: Masixole Feni

About 100 members of the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) marched to the office of the Mayor of Cape Town to deliver a petition, ahead of the City budget tomorrow, demanding lasting sanitation for in informal settlements in Cape Town.

According to the SJC, the capital allocation for informal settlements has decreased from R20m in 2014 to R15m in the proposed 2016-17 budget. The coalition says this is not enough.

In the petition the SJC called on the City to commit to implementing long term sanitation infrastructure in informal settlements with the required increase to capital allocations for informal settlements in the 2016-17 budget;  release a timeline for the eradication of “undignified and unhygienic” temporary toilets such as bucket, container, chemical and flush (potta pottis) toilets in informal settlements;  and release a timeline for the development of a plan for the upgrading of Cape Town’s informal settlements.

Mayor Patricia de Lille is to deliver her 2016-17 budget speech tomorrow.

Singing and dancing, the marchers went along Keizersgracht, Darling Street, Adderley Street and Hertzog Boulevard to the Civic Centre under the close eye of police.

Khanyiswa Gxotani of Khayelitsha Site B, who uses the pota pota system said: “At the age of 43, using the pota pota system is embarrassing.”

“At times people responsible for cleaning the pota pota do not put any chemicals in and they bring them back stinking. They also bring back the pots without the lids. Some of the pota potas are now leaking.”

Bonga Zamisa of Endlovini spoke of the dangers of using communal toilets.

“At night we can not use these toilets. It is dangerous. You get robbed or raped.

“We end up using self-made toilets, digging a hole in the yard to use at night, or alternatively we use a 20 litre container to relieve ourselves at night.”

The petition was read out by Axolile Notywala, head of the SJC’s Local Government Programme, who handed it to Elgan Fortune, Community Facilitator in the Mayor’s office.

He asked Fortune to inform the Mayor that SJC would return tomorrow to listen to the budget speech.

“Please go and tell the Mayor that we will not stop coming here until the Mayor listens to us,” Notywala said.

The City has said it prioritises full flush toilets but “is constrained by privately-owned property, in areas of extremely high density, under power lines, on landfill sites, in a road or railway buffer, within servitudes, outside the urban edge, in areas where there is no bulk infrastructure, in water bodies/retention ponds and floodplains, and in high-noise zones”.

TOPICS:  Government Sanitation

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