Category Archives: toilets

Rammolutsi: We Also Have Open Toilets

Press Statement
Sunday 8th May 2011


As a very poor community, we in Rammolutsi have been suffering from the broken promises of our ANC-run municipality for many years. Besides the fact that most of us here continue to live in shacks despite the repeated promises to build RDP houses, we were glad when the Moqhaka Municipality began to build flush toilets next to our shacks back in the early 2000s. Since that time however, we have been fighting to get the municipality to properly enclose the more than 1500 toilets and have been raising our voices regularly around the unhygienic conditions, general water problems as well as high crime rates in our community. Hardly anyone has been listening though.

Recently, we were happy to hear about the Cape Town courts ordering the DA-run Metro to enclose the open toilets in the Makhaza community but we also noted that it has been the ANC that has claimed it would never do that in poor communities where it is in power. What hypocrites! Have we been forgotten because we are not on the ANC’s political radar, because no one seems to care about the poor in far-away and forgotten places like Rammolutsi? Why are our lives any less important than others?

We had hoped that given the upcoming local government elections, things might change. But in each and every election our hopes have been dashed. Instead we have experienced a councillor nomination process that is forcing unpopular candidates onto us and ANC politicians coming into our community demanding that we vote for them. How can we remain silent when we not only suffer from the indignity of open toilets, but our community is wracked with violent crime, a massive unemployment level and generally bad services all-round? Now that a complaint has been laid with the Human Rights Commission about the open toilets we see that national ANC politicians are beginning to pay attention. Words are not enough! We want action!

For further information contact RRCC representative
Bramage Sekete @ 071 024 8768

March on the Housing Department in Joza, Grahamstown, Today at 12


The Rebellion of the Poor Continues in Grahamstown
March on the Housing Department in Joza, Grahamstown, Today at 12

On the 1st of May 2011 the people of Sun City barricaded the roads and set alight tires. Sun City is a shack settlement in Grahamstown. The land was occupied and the first shacks erected in 1982. Since 1982 the people on Sun City continue to use the bucket system to shit. There are no houses, no electricity and no roads. Sun City is a broken place. After 17 years in power the ANC have completely failed to develop it into a decent community fit for human beings.

The residents of Sun City are rebelling because:

• The Makana Municipality will be sending back R 53 Million to the Provincial government at the end of the current financial year because they failed to spend this money.
• The Makana municipality could not account for R 19 Million during the 2010/11 financial year
• The Makana Municipality could not account for R 24 million during the 2009/10 financial year
• The Mayor is indebted to Makana Municipality for an amount of R 60 000 for his person use
• The ruling party is recycling and imposing councillors on people
• There are high level of injustices at the hand of the ruling party
South Africa is the second most unequal country in the world after Namibia and Grahamstown remains one of the most unequal cities in South Africa. This is a disgrace. Inequality has got worse under the rule of the ANC.

The Sun City residents’ demands are for:

Electricity: The majority of people including Sun City residents don’t have access to electricity and, especially with all the shack fires around the country, electricity is required urgently.
Water: Water scarcity and crises continue without any meaningful interventions from the local authorities.
Jobs: Unemployment continues to be hovering around 70% despite UPM’s call for labour absorbing programmes by the municipality.
Housing: There is a general lack of housing. The RDP houses that have been built are a drop in the ocean and even the few RDP houses that have been built are crumbling down.
Democracy and Freedom: People did not fight and dies for only the freedom to vote every few years but to govern themselves, control their destiny and restore their sovereignty every day.
An end to economic oppression: Economic oppression is so rife and scary in South Africa. The economy needs to be democratised.

The residents of the Transit Camp in Grahamstown have decided to go to protest today, the 5th of May 2011. They will march on the Housing Department in Joza at 12.

The RDP houses that they are supposed to move into cannot be finished because the contractors have not received their money from the provincial government for over six months now. This means that the long awaited houses that people have been promised will not be finished once again. Because their houses are not ready they are still shitting in buckets and some of these buckets will be taken to the housing department.

This is not the first time that a housing project has stalled because the government has not paid the contractors. This has happened before in eLuxolweni. And in eVukani the houses were built but they were built so badly that they are falling down

U.P.M. Publicity Secretary
Xola Mali
072 299 5253 –

The Unemployed People’s Movement & the Women’s Social Forum March for Toilets this Friday

Thursday, 07 April 2011
Unemployed People’s Movement Press Statement

The Unemployed People’s Movement & the Women’s Social Forum March for Toilets this Friday

On Friday the Unemployed People’s Movement & the Women’s Social Forum will be marching, in Grahamstown, for toilets, electricity and housing. Toilets are an important issue for the safety and dignity of our people. It is an absolute disgrace that all these years after democracy so many of our people have inadequate toilets or no toilets at all. It is a clear sign of the contempt with which the predatory elite that has captured the state treats the poor.

The demand for toilets has been central to the protests and struggles of popular movements around the country. The reason for this is that toilets are a matter of basic human dignity as well as safety in terms of both health and the risk that women without toilets face while looking for safe places to relieve themselves in the night.

Here in Grahamstown our comrades in the shacks have no toilets at all. Other comrades have those toilets that are supposed to be cleaned out twice a week. But they are left uncleaned for weeks with the result that they begin to smell, to overflow, to become infested with insects and to become unusable. The result is that many people that have access to toilets on paper do not have access to toilets in reality.

The Makana Municipality has not been negotiating on this issue in good faith. They continue to insult our dignity day after day. Therefore we will be marching on them once again. Our main demand is for toilets but we will also raise the issue of electricity and housing.

We invite all those journalists that continue to say that our struggle, and all the other protests and struggle around the country, are driven by disgruntled members of the ANC with their eyes on party lists and tenders, to come and relieve themselves where we relieve ourselves. They will soon see that it is the material conditions of our lives that have given rise to our movements. The movements of the poor are genuine movements with genuine issues.

The SABC television programme Cutting Edge has been here in Grahamstown this week. They are making a programme about the disgraceful situation that the Makana Municipality has put us in. Their programme will be screened next Thursday at 9:90 p.m. on SABC 1.

We held a mass meeting last night and the position of the people is clear. Toilets are a matter of basic human dignity and we will defend our dignity.

The march will start on Ragland Road at 10:00 a.m. and proceed to the Town Hall. Everyone who supports our demand for toilets for all is welcome to join us.

Kwanele! Kwanele!
Genoeg is genoeg!

Contact people:

Xola Mali (UPM) – 072 299 5253 –
Ayanda Kota (UPM) – 078 625 6462 –
Nosigqibo Saxujwa (WSF) 079 107 9596

Cape Argus: Neighbours’ loos for hire

Neighbours’ loos for hire

By Natasha Prince and Bronwynne Jooste
Staff Reporters

Some Khayelitsha residents have to pay up to R10 each time they want to use the toilets at their neighbours’ homes because they don’t have their own ablution facilities.

Residents in QQ Section in Site B, who live in shacks, fork out between 50c and R10 to their neighbours who live in formal houses.

In another section of the city’s sprawling township, Site C, residents have to relieve themselves on a stretch of grass in full view of passing cars on the N2.

There are toilets nearby in Site C, but some of these are locked by individual residents who hold the keys, while others are broken, damaged or overflowing with human waste.

Using the stretch of grass as a toilet is dangerous: residents say that they are mugged as they walk to the area. One man was stabbed in the face and robbed of his cellphone earlier this year.

When the Cape Argus visited the area this week, human faeces littered the grassy area and the stench was overpowering.

It is not only adults who use the field as a toilet. Parents fear that their children are risking their lives.

Residents who use the area regularly said they had few options because the closest toilets were too far from their homes.

Some said they walked to a neighbouring area in Site C to use toilets provided by the City of Cape Town.

Thokoza Thulumani, who accompanied her two young daughters when they needed to use the grassy patch, said she “did not feel right” about using the field.

“Sometimes these little children want to run into the street (the N2); it’s not safe for them,” she said.

Mzimasi Kese, 31, said “having to go” in the open made him “feel bad”.

“I don’t feel right because so many people driving past in their cars can see you going.”

Kese said sometimes people brought toilet paper while others used newspaper which they softened by rubbing.

There are 12 concrete flush toilets in Site C.

About six of these are locked and others have been vandalised or are blocked and have plumbing defects.

Nomfusi Jezile, who uses these toilets, said the keys to the locked toilets were kept by some residents and could be obtained when requested.

“It’s better when they keep the keys because the toilets are cleaner and the children can’t play in them,” she said.

Ward councillor Nontsomi Billie said the city had the toilets for the area, but that there was no land on which to erect them.

She said some people in the area used the portable toilet system.

“If the toilets are not enough, they (the residents) should tell the street committee members who report it to me and I contact the city and processes are put in place,” she said.

Sowetan: Council takes back toilets

Council takes back toilets
02 June 2010
Anna Majavu and Sapa

Eleven people were arrested in the Cape Town township of Khayelitsha as protests over toilets continued, Western Cape police said.

Captain Anneke van der Vyver said the suspects will appear in court today on charges of public violence.

The N2 highway was blocked with burning tyres until lunch time yesterday.

The protests began at 5.30am yesterday, with residents burning tyres over the city’s decision to remove their toilets completely.

On Monday, Cape Town mayor Dan Plato authorised officials to swoop on Makhaza, in Khayelitsha, and remove 65 toilets.

He said the toilets would only be returned once the residents had erected their own enclosures.

Plato claimed that the residents had promised in 2007 that if the city gave them one toilet each, they would build their own enclosures.

But several residents told Sowetan last week that they never made such a promise. They demanded that the city build proper concrete rooms for their outside toilets.

Community organisations have slammed both the ANC and DA.

Abahlali baseMjondolo activist Mzonke Poni, from QQ Section in Khayelitsha, accused the ANC of “using the poor for their own political gain ahead of next year’s elections”.

“The DA was also wrong – they should have held proper talks with the people, whether they felt they were led by the ANC Youth League or not. Removing people’s toilets is a complete waste of taxpayers money,” he said.

The Social Justice Coalition’s Angy Peter, who lives in nearby RR section, also slammed the ANCYL and DA.

Peter said her organisation “condemns the incitement of violence by the ANCYL”.

But she warned that the removal of the toilets was unconstitutional because everyone has a right to sanitation.

“Instead of rising above the dispute and reconciling with the residents of Makhaza, the city has embarked on collective punishment,” she said.

“The removal of the toilets without any notice is unreasonable. Residents have gone from having an unacceptable level of sanitation (open air toilets) to no sanitation whatsoever.”

Peter slammed Plato’s call on Monday for residents to burn tyres against the ANC.

“These words are also tantamount to incitement.

“As a leader we expect him to bring calm to such situations, not to put people’s lives at risk by fuelling the fire,” said Peter.