There has been an increase in the number of consumers units using the bucket toilet system in the province.
In a report released by Statistics South Africa titled “Non-financial census of municipalities for the year ended 30 June 2012? it was reported that Eastern Cape use of bucket system toilets on municipal land had risen from 24 971 units in 2011 to 25 485 units in 2012.
This increase is the second highest increase in the country after the Free State province.
When one calculates the number of such units being used on private land, the Nelson Mandela Metro alone has in excess of 35 000 bucket toilets. It is clear that the Department of Local Government does not have a coherent plan to assist municipalities to eradicate the problem.
It is unacceptable that many communities have to live in squalor of the bucket system which is in contravention of Section 24 of the Bill of Rights in our Constitution which states that “everyone has their right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well being”.
Bucket toilets are a dangerous health hazard to humans.
There is not enough attention being given to eradicating this scourge. It is an insult to the well being and dignity of citizens who have to use this system.
By so doing citizens are denied the right and opportunity of a dignified life of municipal services.
I have written to the MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, asking him why there has been this increase in bucket toilet usage and what plans are in place to eradicate this inhumane and insulting sanitation method for our communities.
Furthermore, I will be raising a motion in the Provincial Legislature for action and dedicated funding to address this issue as a matter of urgency.
One of the main contributing factors leading to the increase in the use of the bucket toilet system is inadequate sanitation provision in communities due to bulk infrastructure challenges and blocked projects.
In addition the report reveals a lack of infrastructure ability by municipalities to provide basic sanitation and other services. In the report it is stated that since 2011 only 28 municipalities of 45 in the province have capacity to provide sewerage, water and sanitation services.
However, of these municipalities only 26 actually provided sewerage and sanitation in 2011 and 2012 while water provision was supplied by 27 municipalities.
The DA will ensure that the eradication of the bucket toilet system and water and sanitation provision becomes a beacon priority for service delivery in the province.
Dacre Haddon, MPL
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