Stink over public loos in Vhembe
Home Affairs, Sassa offices affected
THE public toilets at the Vhembe district government offices, situated at the old government buildings in Makwarela township, have been left filthy, unusable and locked up.
The authorities are alleged to have done nothing to remedy the unhealthy situation for months but have instead blamed water shortages.
The affected offices include the district offices of the South African Social security Agency (Sassa) and Home Affairs. Now the hundreds of people who visit the offices daily for different services, such as applying for social grants and identity books, have no access to toilets.
At the Home Affairs offices, some of the toilets have been left locked up. At the Sassa offices, there is only one toilet that functions and is made accessible.
“When you visit those two offices, you must just pray that a call of nature does not come, as there is nowhere you can relieve yourself. The toilets have been left locked as we were told that they have not been cleaned for months. Those at Home Affairs that are not locked, you enter at your own risk as you might not like what you will see inside,” said Ntovhedzeni Begwa, a local resident who visited the two offices recently.
Outside is a sewage pipeline that has been leaking human waste for months without being repaired.
The only open toilet at the Sassa offices is for disabled people, but there is no running water, only buckets of water.
Sassa spokesperson for Limpopo Norman Kutama said they were aware of the “poor conditions of our toilets” and that the problem was the shortage of water in the area.
“We have been reporting this to the relevant departments for months, but nothing has been done yet to address the challenge.
“We don’t receive enough water to cope with the influx of beneficiaries who visit us daily. But as soon as the matter is addressed, everything will get back to normal.”
Earlier this year, Health-e News reported on the horror toilets at Home Affairs and the district manager promised to intervene and address the situation. However, nothing has been done.
“We are still waiting for the Department of Public Works to address the water challenges we are currently facing and that have caused the poor conditions of the toilets within our facilities. As soon as we get water, the situation will be restored to normal,” said Home Affairs district manager Zamba Maluleke.
Vhembe District Municipality is responsible for water supply. Municipal spokesperson Matodzi Ralushai said the challenge of water supply to the people of Makwarela was being caused by the volume of water they need to get from the dam to the area.
“We are busy with a new project, as the current system was planned years ago when the number of residents in the area was much less. As soon as the new project is completed, the water supply will be restored.”
He promised that the leaking sewerage pipe would be dealt with as a matter of urgency.
Authorities have put blame on water shortages
UNHYGIENIC: The state of the toilets at the Vhembe district government offices in Limpopo.