De­lay in rid­ding Bay of bucket toi­lets

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - NEWS - Odette Parfitt

THE Nel­son Man­dela Bay Mu­nic­i­pal­ity could miss its De­cem­ber dead­line to erad­i­cate all bucket toi­lets in the city if it does not quickly come up with a back-up plan.

This was re­vealed at a meet­ing of the com­mit­tee for in­fra­struc­ture, en­gi­neer­ing and en­ergy yes­ter­day.

One of the big­gest chal­lenges ham­per­ing the city’s attempts to com­pletely do away with about 12 795 bucket toi­lets is that res­i­dents do not nec­es­sar­ily ac­cept the idea of a sin­gle toi­let in their ar­eas.

Lauré Pi­eterse, di­rec­tor for plan­ning and re­search, said they were forg­ing ahead with build­ing toi­lets in five wards, but there were chal­lenges.

Res­i­dents feel that if they ac­cept the toi­lets, they will have to wait longer for their RDP houses.

This is de­lay­ing the con­struc­tion of the fa­cil­i­ties.

“We need some kind of po­lit­i­cal in­ter­ven­tion,” Pi­eterse said.

DA councillor Thobani No­qoli also ini­tially ex­pressed his doubt that the to­tal erad­i­ca­tion of bucket toi­lets would be pos­si­ble by the end of the year – as promised by mayor Athol Trol­lip in his in­au­gu­ral speech.

“We won’t meet the dead­line with the chal­lenges pre­sented here,” he said.

“Let’s see if the may­oral com­mit­tee comes up with rec­om­men­da­tions.”

No­qoli was, how­ever, re­as­sured by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s Plan B, which is the idea of in­tro­duc­ing chemical toi­lets in the com­mu­ni­ties.

Barry Martin, di­rec­tor of wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion, warned that the pro­posed tem­po­rary mea­sure would be a costly one.

“We’ve al­ways been cog­nisant that we need a Plan B and chemical toi­lets would be that op­tion, but his­tor­i­cally we have shied away from us­ing it as it is hugely costly.

“We are sav­ing so much by installing proper toi­lets.”

De­spite only hav­ing ap­prox­i­mately 80 work­ing days left to meet the dead­line, com­mit­tee chair­woman An­nette Love­more told the meet­ing she was still con­fi­dent.

“Our ap­proach is to fast-track con­struc­tion in the wards [that have ac­cepted the de­vel­op­ment] and make sure the sys­tem works so other com­mu­ni­ties can see it in ac­tion and hope­fully de­sire it as well.”

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