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Informal settlement residents too afraid to go to toilets which city hasn’t cleaned in over half a year

GroundUp reports that shack dwellers at  Island informal settlement, beside a bridge on Mew Way, Khayelitsha are too afraid to go to the toilet at night.

Island apparently doesn’t have any electricity – which means no street lights either, so residents have to brave the dark in order to answer nature’s call.

Unfortunately what Island does have is criminals.

“The criminals wait until you pull up your trousers, jump on you from nowhere and relieve you of your belongings,” resident Anele Dekeda told GroundUp.

Not only that, but some of the toilets have been blocked since November last year.

Xanthea Limberg, Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services, however says that the toilets were last cleaned in January.

My Take

Limburger cheese is well known for its bad smell, it seems the City Cape Town’s record is even more fragrant.

When we talk about the land debate it is important to remember what a big role this sort of situation plays in it. We talk about land reform as farming, but this is how too many of our people in our cities, who are not farmers, live.

This is a failure of both the DA and the ANC, because the DA runs the province and the city – they are responsible for cleaning those toilets. The ANC runs the cops – they are responsible for the crime situation.

The living conditions within our informal settlements are unacceptable. The fact that the city’s response here is that they haven’t cleaned those toilets in seven months disgusts me, as it should anybody with a functional nose.

We have to demand better from our government, and from our political parties, because this just isn’t right.

  • Resident Anele Dekeda and his neighbours in Island informal settlement put up a notice that says: “Don’t dump feces here.” Photo courtesy of Vincent Lali at GroundUp.
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