James Masango MPL
Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition
Residents of Mandela Section of Botleng just outside Delmas deserve more dignified sanitation services than the appalling bucket system they are currently forced to use, and on June 18 cooperative governance MEC SPD Skhosana will have the perfect opportunity to explain how government intends rectifying the situation.
Currently, the Victor Khanye local municipality services over 1 000 bucket toilets in Delmas, despite former premier Thabang Makwetla reassurances in his 2009 State of the Province Address that all bucket toilets in all formal and informal settlements had been eradicated.
Yet, the reality is much different. Residents of Mandela Section have complained to the DA that the buckets were once serviced every day, but now only once every few days. This of course creates the perfect breeding ground for all sorts of bacteria and other harmful organisms, putting the health of the entire community at risk.
In certain instances, fed-up residents have now resorted to digging holes in their back yards to construct pit latrines, to avoid the absolute insult to their in using a bucket as a toilet.
Section 10 in the Bill of Rights in our Constitution states that; “Everyone has inherent dignity and the right to have their dignity respected and protected.” Recognising this right, the DA-led Western Cape government has made portable flushing toilets available for exchange to anyone using buckets. Through this exchange system, more than 90% of the Western Cape population now have access to either flush or chemical toilets, a far cry from the 45,2% access in Mpumalanga, the second worst performing province in the country.
The DA believes that the people of Mandela Section in Delmas deserve a more dignified form of sanitation, and have submitted questions for oral reply to MEC Skhosana to be answered in the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature on 18 June. Not just do we ask the MEC whether he is aware of this situation, but also what plans are in place to rectify it, and bring decent and more dignified toilet facilities to these people.