Deputy Minister David Mahlobo, DWS chief planning director Livhuwani Mabuda and Minister Senzo Mchunu engaging during their oversight visit to the Clanwilliam Dam wall on Saturday. Picture: Supplied
Deputy Minister David Mahlobo, DWS chief planning director Livhuwani Mabuda and Minister Senzo Mchunu engaging during their oversight visit to the Clanwilliam Dam wall on Saturday. Picture: Supplied

Departmental leaders hear cry for dignified water and sanitation for all

By Kristin Engel Time of article published Nov 29, 2021

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Cape Town - According to the Asivikelane campaign, conditions of sanitation in informal settlements needed a long-term solution to provide dignified sanitation for all and it called on the government to implement small but effective measures to help in the interim.

The campaign’s call came after Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu’s visit to assess the state of water and sanitation in the Western Cape.

Mchunu, together with Deputy Ministers Dikeledi Magadzi and David Mahlobo, came to assess the state of water and sanitation in the province during a three-day working visit with Western Cape Premier Alan Winde and other stakeholders in the sector.

Mchunu said the need for water infrastructure was stronger now more than ever before due to the growing water and sanitation challenges and indicated that instead of planning for the usual five or 10 years, it was time to start planning for longer-term solutions.

During the engagements, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said water and sanitation challenges in the Western Cape were exacerbated by land invasions and illegal informal settlements.

He indicated that this was a big issue that needed to be tackled because they were unable to anticipate these growing trends and as a result failed to plan for them.

While this was taking place, Asivikelane (a campaign that monitored the provision of basic service delivery in informal settlements) Cape Town spokesperson Charlton Ziervogel, from the South Africa SDI Alliance, said sanitation was unbearable in current informal settlements.

Ziervogel said the major problems surrounding water and sanitation in the province was that there was not enough access for residents, safety concerns (especially inadequate or no public lighting around toilets and taps), badly located services and inadequate maintenance and cleaning.

The Asivikelane campaign urged government to provide enough toilets so that three or fewer households shared a toilet, provide public lighting near communal toilets, group toilets by gender, and put toilets closer to people and not all in one place at the perimeter of the settlement.

A few other measures included cleaning communal toilets more regularly, draining chemical toilets more often, repairing broken toilets sooner and consulting with the residents about how and where communal toilets should be provided.

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