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.