There are currently 8 562 bucket toilets in the municipality, down from more than 30 000 in April 2015, according to municipal spokesman Mthubanzi Mniki.
“The municipality has come a long way in its ultimate attempt to eradicate bucket toilets within the system. However, there still remain fundamental challenges preventing the total eradication of buckets,” Mniki said.
He said one of the many stumbling blocks was a lack of buy-in from at least 14 communities.
Other hurdles included the removal of backyard dwellings, private land challenges and human settlement relocation obstacles, he said.
“By removing a bucket toilet and replacing it with a temporary, communal, standalone or waterless toilet, some communities assume that it implies they will stay in shacks for far longer.
“As part of the public participation programme to roll out this project, we are working hard to convince the communities that an alternative toilet facility is the way to go while you are waiting for formal housing delivery,” Mniki said.
“The beneficiary list and the associated relocation programme are critical in order for households to be moved onto serviced sites. This will prevent land invasion and vandalism of the sites.
“Prioritisation of this relocation programme is requiring attention in order to speed up the bucket eradication programme.
“However, due to disagreements among people themselves about relocation, the finalisation of the list and implementation of the relocation process ends up being delayed. This directly affects the eradication of bucket toilets,” Mniki explained.
Mniki added that a number of communities were unwilling to move.
“Much progress has been achieved in terms of relocation of beneficiaries … however, the municipality is not satisfied with the speed,” he added.
The municipality had listed nine wards where it said people were no longer using the bucket toilet system.
These include ward 31 in Missionvale, ward 33 in Kleinskool, as well as ward 37 in Bethelsdorp.