James Masango MPL
Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition
The DA welcomes water affairs minister Edna Molewa’s pledge this past weekend that bucket toilets in the Victor Khanye local municipality would be completely eradicated by March 2014, and calls on the minister to make the plan public for scrutiny.
According to reports, the plan will be implemented by cooperative governance minister Lechesa Tsenoli, and that water and waste infrastructure upgrades formed the groundwork for the eventual eradication of these dehumanising toilets in the Mandela informal settlement in Botleng.
The DA however remains concerned over government’s ability to implement this promise, as both the water and waste treatment works are poorly maintained, with sewage spillages into local water courses an almost daily occurrence.
Furthermore, the minister’s deadline is only 5 months away, which means that construction of a sewerage network in Mandela section will have to start almost immediately if government hopes to live up to its promise – unless it is merely aimed at drumming up ANC support in the run up to next year’s elections.
However it may be, the fact is that the minister has made a promise to the people of Victor Khanye, and now has to deliver on that promise – and the DA believes that by making the implementation plan public, government will be held accountable, and not toy with the emotions of the poor.
The DA will continue to monitor government’s implementation until residents’ dignity has been upheld.