NMBM Ignores bucket toilet investigation requests from SAHRC

By Athol Trollip, DA Mayoral Candidate: Nelson Mandela Bay:

Relevant correspondance between Athol Trollip and the SAHRC can be found here.

The DA can reveal that the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has undermined and delayed the work of the SA Human Rights Commission in its investigation into eradicating buckets toilets in the Bay.

This ANC municipality is denying people dignity by keeping them using bucket toilets, and when an outside body comes in to investigate, the ANC government closes ranks, and doesn’t cooperate.

The SAHRC is conducting this investigation after the DA requested it to investigate the horrific state of sanitation in Nelson Mandela Bay, where the highest number of bucket toilets in South Africa still tragically are in use.

The SAHRC’s investigation into the use of bucket toilets in Walmer Township was delayed by months when three separate formal written requests for cooperation from the municipality were totally ignored.

I wrote to the SAHRC earlier this week to request an update on the ongoing investigation into the use of bucket toilets in Walmer Township, and the reply shows how the ANC government in NMB worked against the SAHRC to undermine the commission, rather than work with it.

After months of no response from the NMB municipality, the SAHRC conducted an in loco visit of Walmer Township. It was found that there are insufficient and undignified sanitation services provided to the majority of residents and that water services are inadequate. A full report is due to be released in November 2015, 14 months after the original complaint was lodged by the DA.

I visited Walmer Township earlier this month and saw first-hand the undignified way in which our people are forced to live by this ANC government.

Recent ANC bluster about bucket toilets being eradicated currently is completely misleading. ANC Councillor Andile Mfunda said “they know we’re eradicating the bucket system” after the DA visited the communtiy, yet it only takes one visit to this community to see that the only thing being eradicated is our peoples’ dignity.

Furthermore, the ANC in last week’s legislature to the people made lofty claims about bucket eradication in the Metro. The ANC caucus in Bhisho is completely out of touch with reality given the actual situation on the ground.

If the ANC was serious about eradicating the bucket system, cooperation with the SAHRC would be a priority. Instead, we see an ANC government dead set on avoiding accountability now as Election 2016 approaches.

The DA will remain on the side of the people of Walmer Township in the ongoing fight for dignity. In a fair society, dignified sanitation is provided to all residents.

The DA is set on winning Nelson Mandela Bay in next year’s election so that services are delivered and our peoples’ dignity comes first.